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ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: [IAC] Accidents


Thread: [IAC] Accidents

Message: [IAC] Accidents

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

From: "James E. Wells" <74124.3130 at>

Date: Sat, 17 Jul 1999 11:12:54 UTC



In this wonderfully open forum, please allow me respectfully and strongly
disagree.  I have also read Andy's letter in "Sport Aerobatics" and I think
that he is spot on and further that he is showing great strength of
character for speaking out on this subject.

He and I fly similar single-seat biplanes that are licenced in the
Experimental - Homebuilt category.  What this really means, when we are
brave enough to admit it is that every flight is a test flight.  Few of us
are trained or experienced test pilots.  When things go wrong we need a
little extra time to identify the nature of the situation and then to make
the next decision in the series. 

 How does one get training' in a single-seat, one-of-a-kind ( aka Homebuilt
) airplane?

Yes, I also went to Pompano before I made the first flight in my Pitts-type
biplane and did the close your eyes while the instructor puts it into an
inverted spin' exercise. But guess what?  We were a whole lot more than
3000 feet up!  And this with a certificated airplane and an experienced
instructor on board.

When I practice, 2500 feet AGL is my pre-planned bail-out altitude.  If I
don't have things completely under control by then, then it's time to get
out and walk!  Trade-A-Plane is full of airplanes!  And I practice my
bail-out sequence almost every time I get out of the airplane, including
standing outside the plane with my chute on, consciously looking at the
D-ring, putting both hands on it and pretending to pull.

Now before all 6000 of you out there hit the reply' button, let me state
clearly that I am speaking about practice' as that process of polishing
both the maneuvers and the sequences that we do *before* we get to the
point of flying in a box for a critique session or contest.

When we come into this sport, we are told two things; safety first and
practice a lot.  I think that they are both good advise and that 6-8000
feet AGL is a perfectly reasonable place for the two to meet.


Jim Wells
IAC #20352
UAC-200 Scrappy
"Ailerons make the world go round!"


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