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ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: [IAC-L:738] Re: Fon du Lac and U.S. Aerobatic ...


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

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

From: "Drew Lundgren" <acrodrew at>

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


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