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ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: [Acro] RE: an interesting twist

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ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: [Acro] RE: an interesting twist


Thread: [Acro] RE: an interesting twist

Message: [Acro] RE: an interesting twist

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From: Paul Logue <gpaulogue at>

Date: Mon, 11 Mar 2002 12:48:33 UTC


Spins and spin accidents have been around for many years and will be
here long after we are all gone.  I remember back at a contest in 1972
at Monroe, LA, I believe it was ..... It was contest time and all the
usual activities were taking place, including practice flights in the
box over the airfield.  In attendance were Clint McHenry, Marion Cole,
Bud Judy, Duane Cole, Bob Carmichael, and others.  A newly constructed
beautiful S1 was in the box practicing his sportsman sequence.  We
watched as he continued to repeat his hammerhead .... He kept falling
out of it and finally, he spun out inverted .... There was no doubt in
my mind that I was going to see an airplane crash directly in front of
me.  After several turns and very close to the ground, the airplane
recovered and the pilot made a safe landing.  I don't think I have ever
seen a whiter white man in my life.  He didn't fly the contest, but
since it was a new airplane, balance was suspected and Marion took the
airplane up and dazzled us all with his fantastic ability to fly a Pitts
SPecial.  That was back in the days when he was a member of the Red
Devils.  Anyway, he came down and reported that the airplane had no
abnormal tendencies of any kind.  Since this incident, I have seen at
least a half dozen similar ones at contests or practice sessions.  The
spin is part of our sport, both as a required figure and as a recovery
maneuver from botched figures.  It is also the most unpredictable figure
we do in competition (not airshows) and many of our experienced
(trained) pilots have been killed in spin accidents.  It's one of the
dangers of our sport.

One way that we can protect ourselves and our sport is to educate our
members at the chapter level and qualify them there and not at the
contests.    If a pilot hasn't earned a smooth patch for the category he
wants to fly, then he shouldn't be allowed to fly that category at a
contest.  Some will say, I don't live near a chapter; those pilots can
go to the contest early and earn a smooth patch prior to the contest.
In addition, there should be a spin patch requirement for all
competitors.  You shouldn't be able to compete unless you have a spin
patch. One year when I was judging at Fond Du Lac, a guy showed up with
his bi-plane to fly Sportsman for the first time.  He had little
aerobatic training and ignorant about the rules and the smooth patch
program.  He fell out of his loop and other figures as well and was
later ask to drop out of the contest.  This probably could have been
avoided, if he had participated in earning a smooth patch back at the

Smooth patches and even our "Red Book" are the most under-rated and
under used devices in IAC.  This is not the BODs fault, but more the
fault of the members and the chapters in which they belong.  How many
times have you seen an upper category pilot fly in a lower category
flight at a contest, just to say he/she has a smooth patch and maybe
eventually all 10, or more?  I think it is outstanding if a person has
earned all the patches in the proper order, but the smooth patch should
come before the patch with stars.   The Red Book is not just for judges
and contest volunteers.  It's for all members; flyers and non flyers,
competitors and non competitors alike. By the way, I also think the IAC
should offer a patch for Red Book knowledge.

CDs  should use their imagination to put policies and procedures in
place to make a contest as safe as possible.  When done so, the new
primary category could prove to be the most interesting category to
watch for 2002.

So, in the meantime, let's get busy and do as Allyson has suggested;
submit rule changes.

Paul Logue
IAC # 1247
Suwanee, GA

Attachement 1: part2.html


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