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ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: [Acro] Re: Primary at Pendleton?

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ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: [Acro] Re: Primary at Pendleton?


Thread: [Acro] Re: Primary at Pendleton?

Message: [Acro] Re: Primary at Pendleton?

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

From: Frank Gorham <frankgorham at>

Date: Mon, 19 Aug 2002 20:13:54 UTC


      Thanks for the summary debate - pretty much what the ex-prez spelled
out in Sport Aerobatics a few months back.
      My 2 cents worth - IMHO:

              First:  Nobody should be turned loose to fly our cute little
planes to the edges of the envelope without competency in ALL modes of
spins.  I know, because I was and had a VERY steep learning curve in blown
maneuvers which degenerated to the unexpected inverteds and flats.  You then
have x amount of altitude to learn the lessons never taught.  Very
effective, IF successful!   But, how to do and certify the training?  I have
discussed it with aviation insurance underwriters and they don't know
either.  So IAC should write a spin syllabus and REQUIRE it of all
competition pilots.  Legal liabilities be damned, its a matter of lives
saved we are speaking about here.

             Second: A first time competitor should NOT be required to spin
their plane at low altitude (anything less than 6,000 agl for new guys!),
especially not with the added adrenalin of judges, spectators, strange
field, etc at a contest.

             Third:  Ignoring the Second above, a one turn competition spin
is a piece-of-cake that in no way relates to the unknown "upset" spin likely
from a botched vertical maneuver, so why make an issue of it either way.
(see "both sides of my mouth")

             Fourth:  Having flown both Basic and Primary as a new guy I can
tell you that Primary is no walk-over.  It is far tougher than the earlier
Basic, with or without its spin.  Try it sometime - you will like it!

            Fifth:  A pilot, new to acro, has a full measure of challenge on
his table just "getting thru" Primary.  For some, it may be the highest
level they will reach, still wonderfully rewarding, and still far beyond the
expectations and capabilities of the vast majority pilots.

           Sixth:  Contests not scheduling Primary are, again IMHO, doing a
disservice to the sport by denying the new contestant a chance to compete,
learn, and grow in both confidence and abilities.  Going directly into
Sportsman is NOT an option for many new pilots and they will never get there
without the classrooom in Primary!

           Cheers,  Frank

----- Original Message -----
From: DJ Molny <djmolny at>
To: Frank Gorham <frankgorham at>
Sent: Monday, August 19, 2002 2:26 PM
Subject: Re: [Acro] Primary at Pendleton?

> Oh man, now you've done it!  :-)  Here's the debate in a nutshell:
> The competition sequence for the Basic category -- which was subsequently
> replaced by the Primary category -- included a spin.
> Since some perfectly good acro mounts are placarded against intentional
> (e.g. 450hp Stearmans), some people felt that we had thereby erected a
> barrier to entry for some potential contestants.  So they proposed (and
> passed) the notion of changing Basic to Primary, and eliminating the spin
> the process.
> Others felt (and still feel) that you shouldn't be flying acro if you
> know how to get into and out of spins.  Therefore removing the spin from
> sequence was a bad thing, because a competitor who otherwise would have
> practiced spins prior to competition might spin out of a figure and drill
> hole in the ground.
> Still others argued that regardless of whether the competition sequence
> included a spin, a competitor should receive spin training prior to
> participating in a sanctioned contest.  Then debates erupted over A) what
> might constitute valid spin training, B) whether requiring such a thing
> open the IAC up to even more liability, and C) whether we should be
> our noses into competitors' backgrounds and training at all.
> The debate continued to morph from there, but you get the idea.
> Regards,
> DJ
> --- Frank Gorham <frankgorham at> wrote:
> >
> >
> > Doug:
> >         Somebody else has responded to me privately about an earlier
> > apparently heated, debate on the tropic of flying Primary.  Can I find
> > in archives?  Frankly I'm trying to grow a number of new competition
> > and not flying Primary seems a terrible oversight.  What could be
> > contentious about the subject?
> >
> >         Cheers,  Frank
> >   ----- Original Message -----
> >   From: DSowder at
> >   To: frankgorham at
> >   Sent: Monday, August 19, 2002 1:11 PM
> >   Subject: Re: [Acro] Upcoming Pendleton, OR Aerobatic Contests.
> >
> >
> >   In a message dated 8/19/02 9:16:49 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
> > frankgorham at writes:
> >
> >
> >
> >     I'm kinda surprised that Primary category is not listed.  Where will
> > the new guys come from, or will it be flown with Sportsman - but just
> > forgot to list it?  Everybody has to start somewhere!
> >
> >
> >   Frank, et. al.,
> >
> >   The Beaverstate Regional (Aug. 21 - 24) is a 5-category, regular ol'
> > contest with Primary. The FunFest is a different concept, with a
"bluff". I
> > missed last year's, so I'm not exactly sure how it works and why there's
> > not Primary. Jerry Zabriskie is the organizer, driving force,  and CD
> > behind the FunFest, and I'm sure he has it figured out. By that time we
> > will have had 3 good contests here in the PNW, so hopefully this year's
> > crop of Primary pilots will be able to try Sportsman at the FunFest. At
> > least, that's how I'd look at it.
> >
> >   Doug Sowder
> >
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