SUOMEN ILMAILULIITTO RY – THE FINNISH AERONAUTICAL ASSOCIATION
Suomen Ilmailuliitto (SIL), or in English The Finnish Aeronautical Association was founded in 1919. It is the national and central organization of sport aviation in Finland. The sphere of activity of SIL includes ten different air sport disciplines: powered flying, gliding, experimental flying, ultralight flying, hang gliding, paragliding, parachuting, ballooning, ascending parachutes and aeromodelling.
SIL has over 260 member organizations (clubs) and about 10 000 members. The clubs are fairly evenly distributed over the whole of Finland from Hanko to Ivalo and from Vaasa to Joensuu.
At present, SIL is comprised of the Executive Board elected by the annual General Meeting. There are also seven different Air Sport Commissions that, as experts of their own disciplines, help the Board in its decision-making. These Commissions consist of roughly 100 voluntary members of SIL.
The ILMAILU magazine has been published by SIL since 1937 and it is issued 10 times a year. It gives its readers a good all-round view not only of SIL’s own sport aviation activities but also of commercial and military aviation and of flight safety. Single copies are for sale in Lehtipiste News Stands in Finland. It is possible as well to subscribe the magazine without membership. Membership includes ILMAILU magazine's subscription.
SIL offers its members several significant benefits. Especially noteworthy are the collective accident insurance, which covers SILs all air sports also during competitions, and the third party liability insurance.
SIL Shop, owned by SIL, produces model aircraft and sells model kits, engines and accessories by well-known makers of aeromodelling products. It also sells aviation literature, maps, logbooks as well as other material pertaining to flying.
SILS’s activities are financed by financial aid granted by the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Traffic and Communications and of course also by membership fees and sponsors’ support but also by SIL Shop's business profits. Some of the activities are also financed by Raha-automaattiyhdistys (Finland's Slot Machine Association).
SIL is a member of FAI (Fédération Aéronautique Internationale). It issues international sporting licences, monitors and lists national aviation records and sends teams to international competitions. SIL is a member of Suomen Liikunta ja Urheilu (Finnish Sports Federation).
In addition to national championships SIL organizes also different kinds of international competitions. Over the years these have included World Gliding Championships in 1976, World Precision Flying Championships in 1987, European Gliding Championships in 1988 and 1996, World Canopy Formation Championships in 2000 and World Thermal Duration Gliders’ Championships in 2002. In the summer of 2005 European Gliding Championships (15 meter and Open class) and World Thermal Soaring Gliders’ Championships were organized in Finland.
The training of SIL’s instructors takes place in Räyskälä at the Finnish Sport Aviation Institute. Several flying instructors of different air sports and parachuting clubs’ jumpmasters receive their instructor training there every year.
The most important function of SIL, however, is to serve its members and all those interested in aviation. SIL can tell you how to begin your aviation career –and why you should do so.
The SIL office is situated at the Malmi airport in Helsinki, capital of Finland.