Acro Image

Aerobatics Server

ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: Difficulty of categories

[International Aerobatic Club] [Communications] [Aerobatics Images]

Disclaimer: These aerobatics pages are developed by individual IAC members and do not represent official IAC policy or opinion.

[Usage Statistics]

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: Jeff Nelson <pitts at>

Date: Thu, 10 Oct 1996 06:51:58 UTC


  My 2 cents:

Two issues in Don Peterson's post; increase difficulty and add unknowns.

No opinion on adding difficulty to certain categories, but all categories 
from Sportsman thru Unlimited should have an unknown, i.e., an unknown should 
be added to Sportsman.

>Tom R. Myers wrote:

>The categoies have evolved over time to reflect something like
>the following:

>Sportsman: non-sustained inverted
>Intermediate: non-outside
>Advenced: outside with limited performance
>Unlimited: outside with unlimited performance

Others responded to the original post that certain competitors may not want 
to move from, say, Intermediate to Advanced, due to the lack of desire to fly 
outside figures.  This logic, although the specific reasons may differ, of 
why a person may not want to move to the next category but yet is perfectly 
comfortable and enjoys flying unknowns in their current category is precisely 
why *all* categories from Sportsman up should have an unknown.  

Using Tom Myers' outline above, Advanced pilots may not want to move to 
Unlimited due to the time and expense (machine and training), for example,  
that that category requires, but they still want the pleasure of an unknown 
in their contest flying.  Intermediate pilots may not want to move to 
Advanced because, for example, they do not want to fly outside figures, or 
increased plane needs, or increased practice time and expenses, etc., but 
they still want an unknown in their contest flying.  Likewise, Sportsman 
pilots may not want to move to Intermediate because they do not want 
sustained inverted flying, do not want to snap their airplane, increased 
plane needs, increased practice time and expenses, etc., but why would it be 
assumed that they would not want an unknown in their category too?  I would 
think most would want an unknown for the same reasons that the other 
categories want their unknowns!

Each category now has limitations built into its figures as roughly outlined 
by Tom Myers above.  Each competitor should have the opportunity to enjoy the 
fun of an unknown within the category they have choosen to fly in, flying the 
type of figures (outside, inside, sustained inverted, non-sustained inverted, 
whatever) they have choosen to fly based on whatever makes them happy and 
keeps coming to contests enjoyable for them.

As for beginners, yes, we are trying to grow the sport and it is very 
important to allow them to start up without any more stress than is necessary 
in their first few contests.  And we already have a category that allows for 
that, Basic.  As another person noted, after the first few contests, "stress 
rapidly diminishes as experience is gained."  With one or a few contests 
behind them in Basic, they could quickly move up to Sportsman with an unknown 
made up of Sportsman-type figures, once the additional stress of the 
first-time-contest-type is behind them.

This would allow the Citabrias, Cubs, T-craft, etc., etc., and those who for 
whatever other reasons enjoy competing in Sportsman, to continue to compete 
without getting bored as quickly since each contest would bring some new 
element in the form of the unknown.  

In summary, I think the addition of a Sportsman unknown would, on balance, 
help to keep more competitors' interest at that level over time as 
compared to the potential interest lost of competitors due to the addition 
of an unknown but who otherwise would have been active had there not been an 

Jeff Nelson


© Dr. Günther Eichhorn
Email Guenther Eichhorn