ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: [IAC-L:738] Re: Fon du Lac and U.S. Aerobatic ...
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Thread: [IAC-L:738] Re: Fon du Lac and U.S. Aerobatic ...
Message: [IAC-L:738] Re: Fon du Lac and U.S. Aerobatic Team Selection
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From: "Drew Lundgren" <acrodrew at nol.net>
Date: Wed, 20 Aug 1997 00:14:03 UTC
This thread has been an interesting exchange about which IAC competitors have little control. Like many who see themselves as possible U.S. Aerobatic Team members someday, I wish that Team selection was simply top 5 five men and top 5 women from the U.S. Nationals. That is the clearest system with virtually no room for controversy. That isn't the way it is, and within the current structure, few of us, including me, have any right to complain. More on that in a moment. With regard to Eric Rood's comment about Leo [Loudenslager], his comment was ambiguous with regard to Leo's flying skills. If Mr. Rood was suggesting that Leo had the political connection to always make the team, then perhaps he should know of two little anecdotes. First, the late Eoin "Doc" Harvey reported that Leo was the only person he knew that practiced so much that he wore out a parachute container. The other item is that Leo was quoted as having told someone [paraphrased], "If you want to win, don't spend your money on modifying your airplane. Spend money on fuel." On the other hand, Mr. Rood may have been simply making it known that Leo was so skilled that there was never a question as to his capability and qualification for the Team. I truly hope it was the latter point he was trying to make. So, what do I mean when I say that none of should complain about the Team selection process? The organizations that run aviation events are corporations. If you'll look closely, if I am not mistaken, you'll see that the Team is managed by the United States Aerobatic Foundation, INCORPORATED. The Board of Directors (BOD) of this organization does not answer to us individually and the BOD has, more or less, the obligation to field the team that it thinks is best able to represent the United States in the next WAC. This year they have decided that Fon du Lac and the U.S. Nationals are the venues from which team members will be selected and participation at both events is mandatory except when specifically excused. That's their call; not mine; not yours. My biggest concern with the Team selection process is the possibility that all legal i's may not have been dotted and all legal t's been crossed. This would leave the team selection process up to possible challenge. I'm not a lawyer and will not pretend to be one. My understanding is that the U.S. aeroclub, the NAA, has granted USAF the authority to pick and manage the Team. Since both are legal entities, they probably have some sort of written legal agreement as to the process for Team selection. If that agreement has been violated, and it was not modified prior to Fon du Lac for Team selection, then somone might have reason to challenge the final Team selection. For example if the existing agreement says that the Team will be selected from the top placing six men and six women at the U.S. Nationals, then anything other than that might not be acceptable. I'd hate to see us train a very good team, only to have a person challenge the selection in the 11th hour and blow the whole deal for the U.S. Team. I don't like this year's team selection process, but I have no legal right to complain about what USAF does. This is particularly true if the powers at USAF have developed a process that they believe will provide a slate of pilots that has the best chance of representing the U.S. at the next WAC. Last note is that everyone is cordially invited to IAC Chapter 25's big contest in Galveston, TX on Labor Day weekend. This might be the contest by which all others are judged - resort community, great entertainment, big bucks to the winners, and of course scantily clad.... Drew Lundgren President, IAC 25 Houston