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ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: [IAC-L:720] Re: Fon du Lac and U.S. Aerobatic ...


Thread: [IAC-L:720] Re: Fon du Lac and U.S. Aerobatic ...

Message: [IAC-L:720] Re: Fon du Lac and U.S. Aerobatic Team Selection

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

From: aragon <aragon at>

Date: Tue, 19 Aug 1997 00:47:34 UTC


 Thanks, Allyson, for putting it so clearly.  I don't know about the
general situation but I can speak from personal experience.  I am one
of those would have tried out for the Team this year if it weren't
for the new rule.  Last year, I had started saving up every little bit
of extra money I could and making plans for September 1997.  However,
when I heard about the requirement to attend both Fond du Lac and
Nationals I realized there was no way I could save enough money to
make it to both contests.

In the past, it's been hard enough to get 3 weeks off work for Nationals
each year (1 week for the contest, 1 - 1 1/2 weeks travel time to and
from California, a couple of extra days to practice).  To ask for six
weeks off, pay the cost of hotels and all that fuel... it just went
beyond my reach financially this year.

Perhaps I'll try out again in 1999, after I win the lottery ... :-)

As for what to do to improve the U.S. performance in the international
arena, here are some thoughts:

I don't think I'm the only one who could *just* barely afford to compete
and ended up quitting when family or financial constraints came up.
At my flight school I've had a couple of REALLY talented students that I
thought had the potential to become a national or world champion.
However, none of them had the money to put in the hours of training
or buy the expensive airplane required.

For a long time I've had the goal of starting a scholarship fund
for such talented students.  As a matter of fact I think that's the
only way the United States will become competitive in the international
contests.  We have a large pool of pilots here in the U.S., many of
whom have talent.  However, the pool of pilots who don't have to worry
about earning a living is much smaller.  To become really good at
aerobatics takes a lot of time and money.  The very best pilots are
those who concentrate on flying and practicing.

If we institute a de facto income qualification for Team members,
we're drastically cutting the pool of available talent.

Why not have qualification rounds at regional contests, and then
base Team selection on performance at either Fond du Lac OR Nationals?

Cecilia Aragon
aragon at

> From: "Allyson Parker-Lauck" <princess at>
>I was talking with a fellow IAC'er today about this year's procedure for
>U.S. team selection (requiring attendance at Fon du Lac as well as
>Nationals and using combined scores to select the team).  Even though I
>don't fly Unlimited, I do care very much about our U.S. team, and I wasn't
>really wild about the new team selection process.  Now after seeing so few
>pilots trying out for the team at Fon du Lac, it really makes me wonder if
>this idea is really bad.


© Dr. Günther Eichhorn
Email Guenther Eichhorn