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ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: changes in difficulty

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ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: changes in difficulty


Thread: changes in difficulty

Message: Re: changes in difficulty

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

From: Bill Walker <bwalker at>

Date: Mon, 14 Oct 1996 18:40:39 UTC


Another  2 cents worth.

A little background?..

I've been flying for about 10 years for pleasure and have accumulated about 800 hours.  I got started in aerobatics about 3 years ago (along with two other partners who wanted to just try it).  Our version of flying for pleasure is going out once a month in the plane, if we can find the time, and doing a few loops, rolls, spins, and maybe a half cuban and a hammerhead (I think I may be the only one of us that actually does the hammer, the other guys just say they do).   

Now, my point?.

I think myself and my partners may be just about your average run of the mill "grass roots" aerobatic pilot. We would each fly more aerobatics if we had more time 'cause its fun, but, its not at the top of life's priorities right now (need to build up the business a little more and get the kids in college first).  I did however, go to my first contest this last spring and that was the most fun I've had with an airplane. I entered "Sportsman" because it seemed more challenging than "basic" and I got to fly more.  Lets face it,  I've taken off a day of work, left the family at home, the grass not mowed, and the truck not washed.  I wanted to get the most out of this adventure.  In retrospect I would have scored higher in "basic",  but after my first flight I realized that the object was to do better than your own previous efforts, rather than some other guy's.  Even though I (and probably any other first time competitor) could fly the "sportsman" maneuvers, I was a little over my head because of the inexperience with competitions, the pace and pressures of getting in the air and not wanting to look like a fool and hold everything up, not to mention all the rigors involved with just getting to and staying at the competition site.  Before, I  thought a more challenging "basic" entry level would probably draw more pilots (and me) to the competitions.  And, with more pilots going into "basic" the first time (instead of skipping it like I did), a more challenging "sportsman" would be appropriate.  But now I realize that all is as it should be in "basic" and "sportsman" , the more adventuresome and practiced can enter a challenging class the first time if they want to, and stay there 'till they get better (at this point a freestyle seems the way to go).  The less practiced beginner can enter a class he/she feels more comfortable with , but this class is as important as any other and deserves at least two flights.  

As for intermediate changes?.

That's still over my head.

Bill Walker
bwalker at


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