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ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: [IAC-L:743] US Team Selection - Just the Facts

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ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: [IAC-L:743] US Team Selection - Just the Facts


Thread: [IAC-L:743] US Team Selection - Just the Facts

Message: [IAC-L:743] US Team Selection - Just the Facts

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

From: RobertM82 at

Date: Wed, 20 Aug 1997 20:23:19 UTC


 There has been much written recently in this forum about the U.S. Team
selection process. Unfortunately, many of the authors are laboring under
various misconceptions. In order to bring this discussion into a fact based
forum, here are some facts about the process.

The International Aerobatic Club, by virtue of its agreement with the
National Aeronautic Association is responsible for : 

(Section III.4) 
" Selection, training and participation of all teams representing the United
States in all FAI international aerobatic competitions and world

The International Aerobatic Club has delegated, by letter of agreement, "full
responsibility for the administration, management and promotion and funding
of the U.S. Aerobatic Teams" to the United States Aerobatic Foundation.

Note that the IAC and ONLY THE IAC has the responsibility of selecting the
U.S. Teams. The manner in which they do so is entirely up the IAC. USAF does
not pick the US Teams.

USAF was consulted in the recent Team Selection Policy Revision by IAC and
among the recommendations was that the Teams be selected using more flights.
In particular, USAF asked that Unknown flights be added in establishing the
minimum flight requirement for Team Selection. This request is only logical,
given the nature and format of International competition. Those pilots who
fly consistently well, and in particular, who fly consistently well in
Unknown programs, are those who are most successful in International

IAC took USAF's recommendation and made the decision add more flights. It was
IAC's decision to require accomplishment of this at both Fond du Lac and the
Nationals. This revision to Team Selection was published in the IAC Policy &
Procedures Manual and is dated 11/1/96.

Another part of selection process which seems to be unclear in many people's
mind, and hence results in them thinking that USAF "picks the Team" is a
provision in IAC's  Policy and Procedures number 704. 

Let me shed some light on this one: 

In the past, the IAC named 10 members to the Team (the top 5 men and 5 women
at the Nationals). Now, under the new selection criteria, "A minimum of 5 men
and 5 women and a maximum of 10 men and 10 women will be selected in rank
order as qualified for the U.S. Aerobatic Team. These names will be provided
to the U.S. Aerobatic Foundation, which will decide how many can be
accommodated at training program(s). The U.S. Aerobatic Foundation will
notify IAC as to how many pilots can be funded in the upcoming training
program(s) no later than June 30 of the Team selection year. IAC and USAF
have agreed that this number could conceivably be only 10 pilots."

USAF has notified IAC that for the Unlimited Team that will compete in 1998
in Slovakia, the maximum number of pilots we can fund in training and that we
can take to the Worlds is 10 (and only eight aircraft, constrained by the
number of monoplanes that will fit on a C5A). This is strictly a matter of
dollars and cents. If USAF can afford to train and take 10 pilots, it will.
In the future, if USAF can train a larger group of pilots, we will.
Obviously, it is in the best interest of "winning" that we train as many
pilots as possible to World Competition Level and take the maximum number
that are allowed under the rules of each event. This is why USAF works so
aggressively to raise money. 

For those unclear about the clause for "unforseen circumstances", the Policy
and Procedure reads, "in the event of unforseen circumstances preventing the
participation of Unlimited pilot(s) with proven track records in either or
both of these competitions, the U.S. Aerobatic Foundation may initiate a
request to the IAC Board of Directors to include such pilot(s) in the
selection process at training camp. Such circumstances would be those of an
emergency nature, including airframe or engine failure, airworthiness
directives grounding competitive aircraft, family emergencies, illness and
other problems. Ultimately, the IAC Board will consider such requests on a
case-by-case basis." Note that this clause does not refer to pilots who fail
to make the cut due to zeroing maneuvers at Fond du Lac and the Nationals. 

Those are the facts. IAC picks the Team, USAF pays for the training and
competition costs within the ability of their resources. USAF only becomes
involved in selecting the members of the Team who actually compete at the WAC
if we are so lucky that we can train more pilots than we are allowed to enter
as a Team. In that case, the Policy and Procedure states, "After completion
of the training program(s), the U. S Aerobatic Team Selection Committee will
be charged with the selection of the pilots who will comprise the Team and
actually compete in the WAC. The composition of the U.S. Aerobatic Team
Selection Committee will be the responsibility of USAF. Names of the
committee will be provided to IAC."

Also don't forget, that while USAF puts all its resources behind our Teams
(yes, we do have three Teams: Unlimited Power; Unlimited Glider; Advanced
Power), it's still the individual pilots who bear the majority of the costs
in both money, time and commitment of resources. 

Let's support their efforts with our own.

Thanks for your attention,

Bob Minkus
VP, United States Aerobatic Foundation


© Dr. Günther Eichhorn
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