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ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: [IAC] Air show ban


Thread: [IAC] Air show ban

Message: Re: [IAC] Air show ban

Follow-Up To: ACRO Email list (for List Members only)

From: allan franko <allan.franko at>

Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2000 02:59:52 UTC


Mr. Wack and Mr. Cudahy:

My hangar is still surrounded by snow drifts, so I 
have more time to devote to this issue.  But they're 
melting fast . . .

On Wed, 22 Mar 2000 13:03:02 -0500 Damon Wack 
<damon.wack at> wrote:
> More training in any endeavor is always a good idea
> Your lack of faith in such training frankly baffles me. 

For me the issue is what some have called the "culture" of 
IAC.  I suspect that a non-participant reading this 
newsgroup will conclude that the overwhelming majority of 
IAC members believe that aerobatics must be learned from 
instructors, and anyone who learns anything on his own is 
considered to be a moron.  There is a noisy group of 
contributors who clearly feel this way, but I do not 
believe that they are representative of IAC (thank 

We could argue this endlessly, but let's turn to 
an uninvolved group, the British Aerobatic Association 
( for an impartial opinion.  Under 
"Aerobatic Training" you can find the following:
	" . . in theory you can pick up a book and 'teach 
yourself aerobatics' AS INDEED MANY OF OUR MEMBERS HAVE 
DONE." (emphasis mine).
That, Mr. Wack, is reality.  You and like-minded 
individuals can go on pretending that it is not (could it 
be that since "do as I say, not as I do" didn't work on 
your children you have redoubled your efforts to get IAC 
newcomers to comply?), but you are WRONG.  And you give 
newcomers the wrong impression of the culture of IAC.  And 
anyone you succeed in convincing to go beyond a few hours 
of basic safety instruction misses out on what has been for 
me one-third of the fun of the sport.

> Your faith in statistics to prove some point seems 
equally mystifying.
Mr. Cudahy made a related point:  "Among experienced air 
show pilots, there is very little disagreement that the ACE 
program has improved air show safety. . . . manipulation of 
the data does little to change the fact that safety has 

I could try to debate this issue theoretically, but I doubt 
that either of you would be interested.  So let's 
keep it concrete.  Surely you must be aware of endless 
examples of how experts have convinced themselves that 
something must be true, and have convinced the general 
population that they are right, only to have someone look 
at the facts much later and find out that they were wrong.  
One recent example that caught my attention is Vitamin C.  
Everyone's been certain for years that it is a GOOD THING.  
Finally some scientists looked at data that have been there 
for everyone to see, and have come up with reasonably 
convincing evidence that modest doses (as low as 500 
mg/day) increase the risk of hardening of the arteries!  
Why are the experts in the airshow industry any less likely 
to be wrong, especially since they admit that no one has 
seen the actual safety record? 

Of course statistical analysis applied in ignorance is 
likely to yield nonsense.  That's why I think it is 
essential that the issue of whether the introduction of the 
ACE program had any statistically demonstrable effect on 
airshow safety needs to be interpreted with the assistance 
of the experts at ICAS.

Allan Franko
Pitts S-1S  C-FTRH
IAC 7513

allan franko
allan.franko at


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