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ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: [Acro] Re: IAC rules amok?? -- just another re ...


Thread: [Acro] Re: IAC rules amok?? -- just another re ...

Message: [Acro] Re: IAC rules amok?? -- just another real world solution

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From: "Eric Minnis" <acroeric at>

Date: Sun, 10 Mar 2002 14:08:55 UTC


William- As a fellow newbie I second that! Great suggestion.
Eric Minnis
N43740 Swick Tcraft (competively challenged non inverted)
-----Original Message-----
From: William Wade [mailto:chipmunk at] 
Sent: Sunday, March 10, 2002 8:39 AM
To: Virginia M. Jacobson; IAC, EXPLODER
Subject: [Acro] Re: IAC rules amok?? -- just another real world solution
  Virginia has stated what I believe to be true: most people are
unlikely to risk the embarrassment of a poor performance by competing
unprepared. I have had some training but I'm a long way from even Basic
(Primary?) level competition.
  Regarding the lack of a spin, I'd suggest looking at the 10- and 5-
hour aerobatic courses in Basic Aerobatics. Spin training is near the
end. Skimming through the book (If Things Go Wrong sections), the
reasoning seems to be that a competent student is unlikely to get into a
spin from any of the preceding maneuvers. This is in the context of a
structured environment and it might be that a student wouldn't be
allowed to solo until the entire course was completed. Duane Cole puts
spins in the first hour of his syllabus.
 My point is that there is a difference of opinion even among the best
pilots. I personally feel that spins should be learned early and I took
training while I was still renting 172's. (That doesn't mean that I feel
competent).  Also consider that Stearmans and T-6's were used for
primary aerobatic training. I wouldn't be surprised to find that the
maneuvers selected for the Primary category were influenced by their
Operator's Manuals. As Virginia points out you can't regulate common
sense. It's a tough issue and I don't know what would be best.
  I see the Primary category as an attempt to increase membership in a
way that's compatible with the way IAC is structured, and at a minimal
cost. IAC is focused on competition. It's something members enjoy,
Chapters know how to organize and can charge for. There's nothing wrong
with that but it appeals to a limited number of people and there are
those like myself who haven't learned enough to even consider
competition. How many hours did each of you practice before your first
contest? Over what period of time?
  Based on my own situation I wonder if the typical new member joins IAC
to find out about aerobatics, discovers that it is devoted to
competition for which that person is not ready, and then decides to
leave. Perhaps to rejoin after some training in order to compete,
perhaps not. Has anyone traced individual memberships to see how long
the average member stays and how often they compete?
  The Primary category may bring in some new blood by allowing
additional aircraft to participate but seems unlikely to increase
membership greatly over the long term. As was pointed out these planes
may be unsuited for Sportsman so that creates a dead end. Plus types
such as Stearmans and T-6's could be competing against Pitts, Yaks, and
Extras. It seems to me that these planes have completely different
"styles" and it would be difficult to compare them during judging. 
  There's also a reluctance to push such planes too hard. As the owner
of a 50 year old Chipmunk I would be hesitant to try a snap roll, for
example. That's unknown territory for my unreinforced plane. It might be
easy and safe but I'm not sure I want to find out. Assuming I didn't
lose something major an overstress might be difficult if not impossible
to repair. Parts are hard to find.
   If IAC wants to pursue "grassroots aerobatics" (which seems to be
defined as competitively challenged aircraft rather than informal
flying) perhaps there should be a category based somewhat subjectively
on aircraft perfomance. Perhaps speed and ROC could be criteria. Pitts
and above not allowed.
  I support the intent behind the Primary Category, which I see as a
desire to include more people in IAC activities. Despite the flak I've
received I still think the Recreational Aerobatics program has the best
chance of increasing membership long term, which is really what this
rule change is all about. Perhaps local flight schools, aircraft and
parachute manufacturers would provide funding as a way to develop their
markets. There was a parachute maker displaying at a warbird clinic that
I attended. I'd think a Rec Aero rally would be a greater draw.   -Bill
----- Original Message ----- 
From: Virginia <mailto:virginia at>  M. Jacobson 
To: IAC, EXPLODER <mailto:acro at>  
Sent: Friday, March 08, 2002 9:02 PM
Subject: [Acro] Re: IAC rules amok?? -- just another real world solution
I've sat quietly reading the threads about the new Primary category and
now feel I have to add my two cents.
First off I agree there is a possible safety concern regarding a first
time competitor who wishes to fly in the Primary category. It is
possible that someone might show up and want to compete who has never
received spin training or may not of ever even done a spin let alone
recovered from one.  However OUR Sport, as is still true with most of
aviation (at least I would like to think so) is governed greatly by the
HONOR system. This is one of the things I cherish about aviation in
general. Pilots for the most part are people who possess the follow core
*   Men and Women whose word and honesty mean something 
*   People who do what they say they will 
*   People who are very safety minded in all aspects of their life not
just aviation 
*   People who understand the value of proper training
Grant you there are always exceptions and some people do not posses
these values but I believe they are the lesser not the greater of the
We have not regulated training requirements in the past because one,
there was really no acceptable method by which to do so which was
feasible and fair to all, but mostly because the people who are drawn to
this sport are drawn because they have flown aerobatics and received
some level of training before wanting to compete. Most people have gone
and either taken some form of spin training or at least have gone out at
altitude and practice spins before ever even thinking of competing and
not because someone has told them they have to but out of common sense
and self preservation. 
I believe it's a good idea for the CD and the Safety Officer to sit down
with ALL first time competitors and inquire about the amount of training
and/or level of practice they have received before competing for the
first time. They do so not with the intent of prohibiting someone from
competing but rather with the intent of coaching and aiding the first
time competitor to make sure that their first competition is fun and
safe not only for them but the contest as well. This is the approach the
IAC has taken and thus far and it's worked because the membership as a
whole believe in the values stated above.  Lets not create more rules
and impose greater restrictions on beginners but rather foster safer
attitudes and behavior by mentoring and coaching people who want to
begin enjoying this sport the same way we did.
There will always be the few people who will try to do something just
because the rules say they can even if it doesn't make good sense.
However these people are the minority not the majority and imposing more
requirements only penalizes the rest of us who because of our values
would meet these requirements first anyway. I'm far less worried about
the new aerobatic pilot just entering the sport than I am with the cocky
pilot who wants to show off to their buddy's. I've gone to contests
where so called experienced pilots have flown unsafely just to bolster
their ego and impress their friends. These are the people we should be
worried about. They are the ones who are more likely to get hurt or
killed. They're the ones that will destroy our sport with their arrogant
attitudes and behavior.  
If the IAC is to consider any new proposals I for one wish they would
come up with some means of monitoring rouge pilots. I've seen arrogant
pilots set poor examples and promote negative attitudes towards our
sport. These people usually get counseled about their actions by some
contest official, they promise never to behave in that manner again then
go off to another contest the next weekend and do it all over once more.
How about coming up with a way of monitor these people and imposing
sanctions? I suggest prohibiting them from competition for a given
period of time until they straighten up their act? CD's could inform HQ
about people who have exhibited either unsafe or undesirable behavior at
a contest, HQ could keep a master list and if someone gets X number of
complaints filed against them then a notice could be sent out to all
CD's of up and coming contest informing them not to allow this
individual to register.  How about a discussion and constructive
comments on this topic?
One last word, anyone who has hung in and read what I've had to say thus
far, poor grammar and all, deserves a break. ;-)
Mr. Parks made a statement about the IAC BOD pushing things down the
memberships throats. Unless I'm mistaken I do believe this is how the
process works a) someone(s) have proposed a change that they feel they
would like to see implemented b) that proposal goes through a comment
period in which all the membership has ample opportunity to voice their
opinion before the BOD votes on it. The proposed rule changes are always
posted on the IAC web site and are open for anyone in the membership to
comment on and an email is even posted to the exploder telling the
membership that the proposed changes are available for comment.  
If this isn't how the process works than I'm sure I'll be corrected very
Nuff said...........
Virginia Jacobson
IAC# 18076
VP IAC Ch-88
National Judge
Attachement 1: part2.html


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