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ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: Difficulty of categories


Thread: Difficulty of categories

Message: Difficulty of categories

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

From: Don Peterson <autotech at>

Date: Wed, 09 Oct 1996 15:11:18 UTC


  Does anybody else think that our current categories need some revision in

Advanced is picking up a 50K boost next year, and the leap from Intermediate to
Advanced was already the biggest jump.  Meanwhile, Sportsman and Intermediate
require essentially identical piloting skills and aircraft performance, with the
exception of sometimes getting to fly an unknown.

Consider the UK programs, which are available to view on their page.

Sportsman contests (their Standard) almost always have an unknown scheduled, and
occasionally but rarely a freestyle.  Their Sportsman unknowns are identical to
our Intermediate.  Our Intermediate Unknowns are usually easier than the Sportsman

Their Intermediate Known this year has a push-out hammer with a half roll going
up, plus a two turn inverted spin.  Previous sequences have included rolling
turns, push-out humpties, and inside outside eights.

I suggest we should move our Intermediate difficulty up to make it a natural and
linear step between Sportsman and Advanced.  Also, Sportsmen should be asked to
fly their known and an unknown (of appropriate difficulty).

Change always brings out conservative argument against, but let's have a
thoughtful discussion of this.

I am comfortable that a Decathlon can happily fly inverted turns, push-out and
push-up maneuvers, rolling turns, and half vertical rolls to hammer heads. 
Inverted spins really ARE an intermediate maneuver, aren't they?  Should
competitors be out there flying inverted maneuvers without safely being able to do
inverted spins?  I suggest not.

Intermediate can be made a fun place again, yet provide a happy home for aircraft
of limited performance.  No 3/4 or full vertical rolls.  No climbing snaps. 
(Well, maybe these would be OK)  No 1/2 rolls to a fly-off.  Outside maneuvers
should be presented in their simplest forms, ie:  no rolls down before push out,
no outside half-loops with preceeding or following integrated rolls.  Rolling
turns might be of just 90 or 180 degree duration, and to the inside only.

For those who just don't want to go here, Sportsman would be fun, also, with the
unknown as a regular flight.

I have done the comparison, and there is a really disproportionate jump from
Intermediate to Advanced, made worse by next year's change.  There is almost no
difference in Sportsman and Intermeidate, if you assume Sportsmen get three

Bottom line....   Sportsman and Intermediate should be viewed as the permanent and
happy home for owners of limited performance aircraft, and not just as a stepping
stone for novice pilots who will someday trade off their airplanes for more




© Dr. Günther Eichhorn
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