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ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: The Box

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ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: The Box


Thread: The Box

Message: The Box

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

From: H Brad Antin <antin at>

Date: Sat, 12 Apr 1997 18:13:45 UTC


  I've been reading lots of posts about the pros and cons of having an
aerobatic box in competitions.

The pros seem to concentrate on the fact that presenting the sequence
properly in the box is the essence of precision flying which is exactly
what we're striving for.

The cons seem to point out that the box makes it too difficult for
beginners and may be stifling the growth of the sport.

As a new competitor (I did one contest in basic last year, and plan to
compete in sportsman this year), I can't help but wonder if both sides
are correct.

Perhaps the best solution would be to keep the marked box, but downgrade
it's importance in scoring the lower classes.  Maybe have it not count
at all (other than a tie-breaker) in basic and sportsman.  Have it count
somewhat (but not as much as now) in intermediate, and have it become a
much bigger factor in intermediate and unlimited.

That way, the beginners can share the excitement of competing in the
lower classes while they're still learning the finer points.  And the
more experienced competitors can show off their finer skills at the
higher classes.

By the way, to those who think eliminating the box will bring in more
beginners and help with "grassroots" growth...

The real problem is not the box.  The real problem is that there's no
formula for determining what class a competitor should enter.  I've been
in one contest, and watched several others.  It seems to me that
"sandbagging" is a much bigger problem. 

When you have experienced pilots who really should be flying in
intermediate (or even advanced), but enter sportsman just so they can
win or place higher, it kills the enthusiasm for the true beginners.

Perhaps IAC should enact some kind of rule which states that once a
pilot wins one or two contests, he or she is compelled to move up in

I don't know if that's the answer, but I do believe a problem exists.

Oh well, I've rambled enough.



© Dr. Günther Eichhorn
Email Guenther Eichhorn