Acro Image

Aerobatics Server

ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: [IAC-L:33] re: sequences - sorta long sorry

[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: [IAC-L:33] re: sequences - sorta long sorry


Thread: [IAC-L:33] re: sequences - sorta long sorry

Message: [IAC-L:33] re: sequences - sorta long sorry

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

From: Don Peterson <autotech at>

Date: Mon, 09 Jun 1997 00:55:31 UTC


  I don't entirely agree with my esteemed chapter mates on the unflyability of the
sequences, nor on the manner of their selection.

Kurt's assertion that each category must be "winnable" by the definitive aircraft
implies that these aircraft must have an equal chance of winning against all comers.
This is not consistent with our rules which allow any aircraft to any category.  As the
current sequences stand (except for Unlimited which I don't have the expertise to
comment on), I truly believe that each is "winnable" by the definitive aircraft, in the
right hands, on the right day.  On another day, with an average pilot flying the
definitive aircraft and better competitors flying more capable aircraft, it ain't gonna

And on this point, I do not believe that the IAC should design sequences that average
pilots in the definitive aircraft will score at 90%.  We gather to rank the competitors
and pick the best.  If an average pilot can score as well on a sequence as a good pilot,
we will lose validity of the results.  Rather, make the sequences honestly flyable by
the definitive aircraft, with the further thought that a really good stick has an honest
chance.  Nothing more.

On this point, we might compare the UK's approach to the US.  Their intermediate is
defined around the Stampe.  This aircraft has approximately the same performance as a
150HP Citabria with inverted running (but no oil pressure).  Any Decathlon with spades
will out perform it (and require less maintence to boot).  In spite of this, their
Intermediate often includes push-outs, inverted turns, the occasional inverted spin, and
I think I recall some simple rolling turns.  I think they reduced vertical rolls to a
maximum of 1/4, which is probably a fair call for a Stampe, but a Decathlon can do a
good half.

In my view, their sequences are exactly what they say they are---- designed for the
definitive aircraft.  Our sequences are not actually designed to the maximum safe limits
of an aircraft, rather they are a mismash of agendas based on differing views of what an
aircraft can and ought to do, stirred up with odd ideas of what a "Sportsman" or
"Intermediate" pilot ought to be asked to do, and other obscure agendas.  In any
enterprise, a confused goal produces confused results.  If our leaders want to really
dig into this, we should begin by asking which clear vision (ours or the UK) is
currently producing an increase in competitor pilots.

Should our Sportsman, Intermediate, and Advanced categories be defined to certain skill
levels?  NO!  They should be designed to the safe limits of their definitive aircraft.
If we actually do this, I believe we will attract many more pilots who have gotten bored
flying the lower categories in their aircraft but who cannot move up due to the limits
of said aircraft.  We treat the pilots of these lower categories like Freshmen in
school.  Usually encouraging them, but not viewing them as real acro jocks.  Yet.  A
real "grass roots" club is going to provide a venue for all of its members, and not just
the ones of us dedicated to constantly upgrading our aircraft on the way to unlimited.


Sportsman should be flyable, but tough in an 7ECA.  The one we have now really isn't all
that tough.  A newbie flying it in a Decathlon will get quickly bored, wherein they
could move to Intermediate.  A well-practiced hard working pilot can knock our sportsman
programs dead in an ECA.

Intermediate is WAY too easy.  A Decathlon can do perfectly nice quarter vertical rolls,
avalanches, inverted turns, push-outs (no rolls down beforehand), and other stuff
requiring +6-3.  Sequences written to this standard would keep Decathlon, Great Lakes,
Skybolts, Stardusters, Stampe(s), Clip-T's, and the like busy for their entire lives.
It is as far as they are likely to go, and our current intermediate stuff is simply
Sportsman maneuvers plus a snap (which sportsman used to have).

Advanced seems about right to me.  My fellows will make disparaging remarks about my now
flying a Zlin, but this aircraft is 260HP and weighs 1,300 or so empty.  Power to weight
is pretty close to all those little Pitts' out there.  Again, the definitive aircraft
cannot have an EQUAL chance at winning so long as we allow any aircraft.  The test
should merely be CAN it do it safely and score well if flown by a superior pilot.

Lastly, as for coordinating our efforts with CIVA.

It seems like a clear choice.  We can form our own Texas Aerobatic club and have a merry
time.  Plenty of pilots, plenty of airports, plenty of airplanes.  Our competitors would
be applauded in their own state, but enjoy no national stature (if it matters).  So far,
we choose to stay a part of the national scene and I truly believe the majority down
here want to be part of the bigger picture.  The same logic applies to U.S. vs World.
Do we want to be part of the world aerobatic community?  It seems we do.  The structure
flows through FAI/CIVA and affects all of the world's national aeroclubs.  We can do
without, of course.  Wouldn't we be losing more than we gain?

Don Peterson
Midlothian, Tx.


© Dr. Günther Eichhorn
Email Guenther Eichhorn