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International Aerobatics Club News

International Aerobatics Club News

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Disclaimer: These IAC pages are developed by individual IAC members and do not represent official IAC policy or opinion.



by Mike Heuer


The IAC Board of Directors met in Oshkosh, Wisconsin for its regular fall session on November 9-10th. All Directors were present except Bob Davis, John Gardner, and Merrill McPeak (NAA representative). With the recent turmoil in IAC's day-to-day operations, the meeting was important in setting immediate goals and making plans for 1996.

Since the resignation of IAC Executive Director Iris Birdsong in late August, Doug McConnell had been functioning as Acting Executive Director and Mike Heuer as Acting Editor. The first day of the Board meeting marked Sharon Heuer's first day of employment as IAC's new Executive Director. Included on the agenda was discussion on the filling of the Editor position with a permanent person. Space does not permit a detailed report on everything discussed at the meeting, however, here are the highlights:

** IAC finances are in fairly good shape. The organization has realized a $25,553.48 net income for the year (as of September 30, 1995) and though this is ahead of projections, our budget also called for the hiring of a full-time Editor earlier in the year. Therefore, there has been less expense in editorial wages this year. Net cash position for IAC was $78,805.00 as of September 30th, up from $45,571 a year ago. The Treasurer will be discussing these matters in more detail in his monthly article. The 1996 budget was approved by the Board of Directors and it calls for a "break even" situation next year due to the higher costs of the Executive Office in Oshkosh and the fact that the dues increase will not fully kick in for several months.

** The FAI International Aerobatics Commission has agreed to the United States hosting the Advanced World Aerobatic Championships in 1997. The World Air Games will also be held in that year but only powered Unlimited and Glider Championships are planned for the Games. Dates for the World Air Games will be September 12-21, 1997. Aerobatic events will be held in Antalya, Turkey. IAC Director Tom Myers has been heading up an effort to select a site in the United States for this important competition in 1997. More news will be provided later.

** Known compulsory sequences were approved by the Board for all categories. The finalized versions of these sequences will be published in the December issue of SPORT AEROBATICS (earlier than normal ... the only advantage to having a late magazine).

** Plans for the XVIII World Aerobatic Championships in Oklahoma City are progressing well under the sponsorship of the Oklahoma City All Sports Association. Dates have been set for August 18-30, 1996. Carl Whittle (who also served as the U. S. Nationals Contest Director this year) will head up the event and would welcome any help. His address, telephone numbers, and e-mail address can be found in the "Calendar of Events". Entry fees have been set for the event. Americans wishing to attend as "official observers" will pay a fee of $1,350 (single occupancy) which will include accommodations for the full two weeks, three meals a day, flight line access, social events and dinners, and a competition kit. For those who wish to arrange their own accommodation, a $700 entry fee has been established but all other amenities, including meals, will be included in this fee.

** The Rules Committee report was reviewed at length and several changes were made for 1996. These changes are covered elsewhere in this column. The Rules Committee will meet in Chicago in January to consider those proposals received from members prior to the October 15, 1995 deadline. These changes would not take effect until January 1, 1997 -- keeping in mind IAC's normal two-year cycle for the consideration of changes to our rules.

** A new IAC program was created -- the IAC Electronics Communication Program -- and will be headed by Dr. Guenther Eichhorn. As discussed in last month's issue (see "IAC and the Internet" by Mike Heuer), the Internet is expanding rapidly and offers IAC many opportunities for communicating with its members. EAA and FAI have recently established their own Internet web sites which are discussed elsewhere in this column.

** Problems with the Fond du Lac competition were discussed at length. Attendance has been down and for the past two years, the contest has lost several thousand dollars. The Board discussed many ideas to improve the event and thereby attract more competitors, but the biggest change for 1996 will be in the dates. Changing the old format of Monday through Friday, the Board voted to begin the competition on Friday, August 9, 1996. It will be staged over a five-day period and will end on Tuesday, August 13, 1996. The Fond du Lac Cup will be held at the end of the competition. The reason for this was fairly simple and twofold: (1) over the past few years, the dates for the EAA Fly-In Convention in Oshkosh have changed and it now ends on a Wednesday. In years past, the Fond du Lac competition began soon after the Fly-In but this is no longer true. IAC has changed the Fond du Lac dates to keep up with EAA's changes. By moving the Fond du Lac competition closer to the Fly-In dates, we hope it will attract more IAC'ers to both events; and (2) by making the competition a "long weekend" like many of our regional events (some of which are bigger than Fond du Lac), participants will not have to spend as much time away from home. Obviously, the Board of Directors cannot continue to fund a competition which produces a lot of "red ink" and these changes are being made in an attempt to improve the competition and turnout before any further reassessment of its future is made.

** The Board took steps to revitalize the International Aerobatics Hall of Fame. It voted to cooperate with the International Council of Air Shows (ICAS) in that organization's endeavor to also memorialize aerobatic greats. Members are encouraged to contact Dr. Richard Rihn, Chairman of the Hall of Fame Selection Committee for the necessary forms to nominate deserving people to the Hall. See page 4 for Dr. Rihn's address and phone number.

** The Board voted to fund the IAC's presence at Sun N Fun in Lakeland, Florida in the amount of $6,000.

** Considerable discussion was held on the issue of judging, judging evaluation, and quality of judging. Tom Myers was tasked with the job of collecting judging data and using the CIVA-approved Contest Analysis software to derive judge performance factors (JPF's) to determine how well our judges are really doing. Pending more information, no further action was taken and the data will be held confidential. The Board decided not to fund the "Heads Up!" newsletter which is mailed to all IAC judges in 1996. This was due to cost (a $2,000 expense was projected) and with IAC net income projected at "break even" in 1996 this could not be justified. The Board also felt the more effective way to communicate this information would be to publish it in SPORT AEROBATICS, thereby reaching all 6,500 IAC members, not just 300 judges.

** With the spate of accidents in 1995, the Board decided to create an IAC Accident Investigation Team. The President was authorized to name a chairman and members to the team. IAC members who have special training or background in accident investigation are urged to contact President Linda Hamer. The Board agreed that collection of information on aerobatic accidents is important to safety and this information should reach the pages of this magazine as soon as possible.

** Contest Directors for the Fond du Lac and Nationals events were not named at this meeting. The IAC Executive Committee was authorized to appoint them. This will be done soon and well in advance of the next IAC Board meeting scheduled for March 1996. These people can then begin immediate work on planning and organizing these events.

** IAC still plans on restoring the famous Pitts Special N66Y, flown by Hall of Fame inductee Bob Herendeen at the World Championships in the USSR in 1966. This aircraft is owned by the EAA Foundation and will be a perfect addition to the aerobatic wing in the EAA Air Adventure Museum. IAC Director John Gardner is heading up the project and donations can be directed to the IAC Executive Office in Oshkosh.

**The Board voted not to hold the U. S. National Glider Aerobatic Championships at Fond du Lac next year. While no site has yet been determined, it is likely it will be held in conjunction with an IAC regional competition.


IAC Executive Director Sharon Heuer announced on November 22, 1995 that agreement had been reached with Karen Diamond of Omaha, Nebraska to be the new Editor of SPORT AEROBATICS magazine. Karen heads up her own marketing and public relations company and has considerable experience in working with non-profit organizations. She is secretary and newsletter editor of IAC Chapter 80 in Omaha, President of the Omaha Classical Guitar Society, and highly active in civic and community affairs. We believe Karen will bring considerable talent, imagination, and creativity to the production of IAC's most important product, SPORT AEROBATICS. Welcome aboard, Karen!

Karen's first issue of SPORT AEROBATICS will be the February 1996 edition. In the meantime, members wishing to contribute articles, photographs, information, or place ads in SPORT AEROBATICS should continue to contact Mike Heuer. The transition to the new Editor will be made over the next few weeks as appropriate.

Karen's address is 823 N. 123rd Court, Omaha, NE 68154-3283. Phone 402/496-3283. Two e-mail addresses are available: 73551,2157 (CompuServe) or KKDiamond (America Online). Internet address is or


On October 7th, Philip "Flip" Smith lost his life in an airshow accident in Waukegan, Illinois flying a Pitts S-2S. Flip was Vice President of IAC Chapter 1 in Chicago and had been an attendee at Fond du Lac in years past. He was a pilot for United Airlines. In what was one of his first airshow performances, he flew a series of outside snaps starting on an up line and finished the last snap too low to successfully recover. A memorial fund has been set up in Flip's name and can be directed to: Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, 600 S. Clyde Morris Blvd., Daytona Beach, FL 32114. Attn: Office of Development, Philip D. Smith Memorial Scholarship Fund.

In another great loss to the sport, we are sad to report the death of Dr. Eoin Harvey of the Houston, Texas area on November 7, 1995. "Doc" succumbed to liver cancer. A former member of the IAC Board of Directors and in past years quite active with the U. S. Aerobatic Team, "Doc" was married to long-time U. S. Team member Debby Rihn-Harvey. Canadian by birth, he had made his home in Texas for the past 27 years.

Eoin was not only a physician but he was an Unlimited pilot, aircraft designer and builder (the "Texas Hurricane" Debby flies was one of his creations), a small business owner and humorist. He and Debby operated H & R Aviation, a very active aerobatic school which will continue to be operated by Debby. Eoin asked that donations be directed to the Omaha Home for Boys, 4343 N. 52nd Street, Omaha, NE 68104.

Our condolences to all of the many friends and family members of these fine IAC members.


The most famous aerobatic aircraft designer of all time, Curtis Pitts of Homestead, Florida, will have celebrated his 80th birthday with friends by the time this magazine reaches the membership. The party was slated for December 9th in Homestead as of this writing.

Never remaining idle, the announcement also invited everyone to see Curtis' latest design, the "Bolshoi" ... a new Pitts design featuring the 360 hp Vedenyev M-14P engine which powers the Sukhoi SU-26 and other Russian designs.

Congratulations, Curtis!


For those of you planning vacations and time off for 1996, please note the U. S. National Aerobatic Championships will be held at Grayson County Airport, Denison, Texas on September 23-27, 1996. If you need further information, contact the IAC Executive Office, P. O. Box 3086, Oshkosh, WI 54903-3086. Phone 414/426-4800. When a Contest Director is named, it will be announced in these pages.


EAA has just announced its has joined the growing number of organizations who now can be found on the Internet. Their address is: http:/

IAC's Home Page is

The FAI in Paris has also announced it will be coming up on the Internet soon with a web site. For now, any e-mail to FAI can be addressed to


At the IAC Board meeting in Oshkosh on November 9th and 10th, various rules amendments were approved for implementation on January 1, 1996 ... the beginning of the new season. In summary, these changes included:

** Rules on the "direction of flight" have been changed to allow Unknown programs to begin on the Y-axis.

** The Contest Jury is now empowered to determine who will be eligible to fly the 4 Minute Free Program in Unlimited. This new rule will give the jury flexibility in permitting Unlimited pilots who want to fly this trophy event only to do so without flying the previous three flight programs.

** Rules are added permitting the Chief Judge to contact pilots by radio if they are not visible for grading due to cloud cover. Pilots will be able to break and then resume when clouds permit and not receive an interruption penalty.

** Figure is added to the Unlimited Unknown list of figures.

** Penalty points for failing to properly signal the start/end of the 4 Minute are increased to 150.

** Warm up flights for judges at Nationals will be required for Unlimited.

** Under meteorological conditions, rules are added to require flights not be conducted in discernible precipitation.

** A copy of all protests and contest jury decisions must be forwarded to IAC Headquarters after the competition is complete. This is to provide better feedback to the Rules Committee on problems with rules.

** Though not a rules change, the Rules Committee asked that all Unlimited pilots be reminded they must have an FAI Sporting License in their possession when they enter a competition. This is required by the current wording of the rules and has not always been observed. Pilots can contact IAC for information and applications on obtaining these licenses.


The FAI International Aerobatics Commission (CIVA) held its annual meeting in Colmar, France on November 4-5, 1995. The commission meets annually to discuss the sport of aerobatics, FAI Championships, and the rules regulating aerobatic events throughout the world. Over 60 people from 24 nations attended the meeting. CIVA President Mike Heuer chaired the meeting. The following is a summary of some the important decisions and actions taken by CIVA at this meeting:

** CIVA approved the proposals of the organizers of the World Aerobatic Championships in Oklahoma City regarding entry fees. Pilot fees will be $1,100 and observers will pay $1,350 (both based on single occupancy at the hotel). Chief Judge will be John Gaillard of South Africa. International Jury members will be Mike Heuer (President), Jiri Kobrle (Czech Republic), Jacques Godbille (France), Kasum Nazhmudinov (Russia), and Helmut Stas (Poland). Carole Holyk (Canada) will serve as a reserve member.

** New figures were adopted for Family 7 of the FAI Aerobatic Catalogue. These will take effect on January 1, 1996 and an amendment to the Catalogue will be issued. These figures were proposed by Great Britain.

** Quarter loops at the top and bottom of Family 1 figures no longer have to have the same radius though the top must have a smooth and constant radius.

** Pilot names will be deleted from Forms A, B, and C prior to being given to the judges. However, this does not mean CIVA is moving back to anonymity.

** Maximum tailwind components in the box were established at 3 meters per second.

** The name "Class 2" is changed to "Advanced". This change recognizes that in most countries around the world, the category is referred to as Advanced and it is better for marketing and public relations.

** No changes were adopted in Advanced rules to restrict Unlimited pilots from participating in Advanced Championships. However, the restricted aircraft list was revised considerably and the list of approved aircraft expanded. Generally, the Sukhoi, CAP, and Extra aircraft currently used in world competition have been excluded. Permitted aircraft include Zlin 50's, Yak 55's, and all of the Pitts models. CIVA can approve additional types, which is necessary on all aircraft of 260 hp or more, on request.

** FAI and CIVA have begun work on a new series of display competitions to replace the "Breitling World Cup of Aerobatics". Breitling announced the dissolution of their competitions in early October, though plans have been made to run another series under another name. FAI has entered into a business arrangement with Jean-Louis Monnet, formerly contest director of the Breitling series, to organize the events. Simultaneously, CIVA President Mike Heuer announced that any pilots who compete in unrecognized events face the possibility of revocation of their FAI Sporting Licenses and eligibility to fly in the World Aerobatic Championships.

** European Glider Aerobatic Championships will be held in Per, Hungary on June 27 through July 6, 1996.

** CIVA reaffirmed its commitment to the World Air Games and an Unlimited Championships (to include the European Championships) will be held there. The World Glider Aerobatic Championships will also be staged at the Games. CIVA Event Expert for the event is James Black of Great Britain.

**CIVA agreed to purchase height measuring devices that have been tested at glider championships by Peter Huber of Austria. These will now be used officially at all FAI Glider Aerobatic Championships. Testing will continue for powered aircraft with the possibility of their use being considered by CIVA at a later time.

** CIVA elected the following Officers: Mike Heuer (President); Jiri Kobrle (First Vice President); Jacques Godbille (Second Vice President); Kasum Nazhmudinov (Third Vice President); and Karl Berger (Vice President, Glider Aerobatics). Secretaries are Veva Becker and Liz Cook. The various subcommittees remained largely intact.

** CIVA agreed to pay the entry fees for Assistant Judges (not recorders) who appear on the FAI International Judges List at the World Championships in Oklahoma City. This is to encourage teams to bring qualified "teams" of judges to the competition and to help improve the quality of judging. This is a one time program only pending further study.


IAC Executive Director Sharon Heuer is now up on e-mail, so those of you with Internet access can add her to your address book. CompuServe address is 103203,2314. For other services, the Internet address is An America Online address will be announced soon.


This "acting" Editor would like to thank all the IAC members who have been so understanding and helpful during this difficult transition period. Our new Executive Office is now in operation in Oshkosh, we have a highly capable and experienced Executive Director in place, and we have announced the hiring of a new Editor. These are a lot of changes in a very short time ... but they are very good news for IAC. Though it will be a challenge to all of those involved, it is an exciting time for IAC. It is a chance to revitalize our organization and to start considering new ideas and programs for our sport.

Because we have compressed the publication of SPORT AEROBATICS in order to bring it back on schedule, our files are getting very empty. Karen Diamond and I will both need your help in this transition time. We need more articles, photos, and information. We need to make this magazine useful and educational for you and this cannot be done by a small staff alone. IAC also invites "letters to the editor" as well. We thrive on the free exchange of information, ideas, and controversies. It helps our organization improve.

Please give Sharon Heuer and Karen Diamond your support as they begin work on your behalf. And be patient. It will take a while for things to get organized but this author predicts that in one year, IAC will be solidly on track and moving to a bright future. We want you to be a part of this organization as it moves ahead.

Finally, I would add that there are few advantages in having a late magazine. When you get behind, it is like pushing a snowball uphill ... a difficult battle to reverse the situation. But at least we are providing you information that is up to date with coverage in this column including the IAC Board and CIVA meetings held early in the month and the publication of the Knowns coming up in December. We are placing last minute information in these issues and though they are late, much of the magazine will be "on time". This is a small compensation for our failing to meet your expectations in past months. We hope you enjoy SPORT AEROBATICS as it grows and continues to improve.

Mike Heuer

If you have aerobatics related information that you would like to make available, please contact me at the email address below.

Last Update: Sat Aug 29 16:11:26 2009

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