Australian Aviation has taken out the top gong at the 2017 Australasian Aviation Press Club (AAPC) awards with news editor Jordan Chong named journalist of the year ahead of veteran aviation journalist Nigel Pittaway, who was runner up in that category.
It was a night of multiple accolades for the pair, with Chong runner-up in the aviation feature story category for his piece on inflight catering “Fast, Fresh and Flying at 38,000ft”.
Meanwhile, Pittaway’s piece “Striving to be Fifth-Gen” in Air Forces Monthly won aviation defence story of the year. He was also runner-up in the aviation technical story category for “Connecting the Nodes – Airborne Gateway” in Defence Today.
The awards were presented at the annual dinner of the AAPC in Sydney on Friday December 1.
Among the other winners, photographers and Australian Aviation contributors Seth Jaworski and Paul Sadler were named winner and runner-up, respectively, in the photographer of the year award. Jaworski took the trophy in this category for a second straight year.
The Australian aviation news story of the year award went to Reuters’ Jamie Freed for her piece “Sydney Airport says new terms unviable, sows doubt on involvement”, while Adrian Schofield’s story “New Zealand Targets Advanced Airport Screening” in Aviation Week took out the New Zealand aviation news story award for 2017.
Matt O’Sullivan’s investigation in Fairfax Media “The untold story of QF72″ won best feature story for 2017.
Friday’s event also featured a tribute to veteran aviation reporter Ben Sandilands, who died in late October after battling cancer.
Long-time aviation editor at The Australian, former AAPC president and now editor/Asia Pacific bureau chief for Airline Ratings Steve Creedy said Sandilands was a giant of the industry in his five decades as a journalist.
“I think it’s pretty fair that there will only ever be one Benoni Fairfax Sandilands,” Creedy said in his speech to attendees at the awards dinner.
“Ben was a force unto himself, a larger-than-life character whose enthusiasm for and knowledge of the subject matter was without question.
“He held strong and passionate opinions and was not backwards about putting them forward. Ben wasn’t always right in what he said but it came from his heart and was without malice.
“The other great memory was the camaraderie on numerous trips. I was always pleased to see Ben part of the group because it meant good conversations about unusual things, sometimes very unusual things.”
The event also recognised Australian Aviation’s 40th anniversary in 2017, with publisher Christian Boucousis promising even better for the title’s next four decades.
Full list of winners:
Aviation journalist of the year (sponsored by Airservices Australia and Cathay Pacific)
Winner: Jordan Chong, Australian Aviation
Runner-up: Nigel Pittaway, Air Forces Monthly, Defence Today
Aviation photographer of the year (sponsored by Singapore Airlines)
Winner: Seth Jaworski, Australian Aviation
Runner-up: Paul Sadler, Australian Aviation
Australian aviation news story (sponsored by Sydney Airport)
Winner: Jamie Freed, “Sydney Airport says new terms unviable, sows doubt on involvement“, Thompson Reuters
Runner-up: Owen Zupp, “F-35 arrival highlights a new beginning for Australian aerospace manufacturing“, Australian Aviation
New Zealand aviation news story (sponsored by Auckland Airport)
Winner: Adrian Schofield, “New Zealand Targets Advanced Airport Screening”, Aviation Week
Runner-up: Chris Frame, “Taking Shape”, Australian Aviation
Aviation feature story (sponsored by Airbus)
Winner: Matt O’Sullivan, “The untold story of QF72”, Fairfax Media
Runner-up: Jordan Chong, “Fresh, Fast and Flying at 38,000ft”, Australian Aviation
Aviation defence story (sponsored by Boeing)
Winner: Nigel Pittaway, “Striving to be Fifth-Gen”, AirForces Monthly
Runner-up: Andrew McLaughlin, “Replacing the Replacement” and “Battle Rhythm”, Australian Aviation
Aviation technical story (sponsored by Rolls Royce)
Winner: Adrian Schofield, “Next Phase: Space-based capabilities beckon for Airservices Australia”, Aviation Week
Runner-up: Nigel Pittaway, “Connecting the Nodes – Airborne Gateway“, Defence Today
Aviation multimedia story (sponsored by Air New Zealand)
Winner: Grant Bradley, “Inside the world’s longest flight from Doha to Auckland”, The New Zealand Herald
Runner-up: John Walton, “Live, online, opinion, print and video coverage of Paris Air Show 2017”, Australian Aviation, Runway Girl Network