Thursday, January 25, 2018

Advanced (very!) Free Design

In an earlier post I blogged about designing your Free sequence. That was aimed at the beginner. Now I want to talk about the elite level - Unlimited. What prompted me to this was looking at the late, great, Renaud Ecalle's Free shown below:
(Note: the 3/4 flick down on the tailslide should also be negative.   This is legal as it has different figure number cf. the humpty flick).


1.    No. of elements able to downgrade on typical Free vs. Ecalle's flicks??
2.   Simple low risk Russian design vs. higher risk but 'simpler' (fewer elements) sequence.
3.   'did not flick' are PZs - more likely to be overruled and fitted value used under fairplay provided most judges score it. Can't be HZ'd??
5.   Orientation of tailslides Fr vs.Ru?
6.   Is this a development that makes best use of recent rule changes?
7.   position of roller Fr vs RU?
8.   position of spin FR vs RU?
9.   Will judges give more than an '8' for a complex flick figure?

Regardless, an inspiring sequence and pilot.

EAC 2016

Well, here we are at the 2016 European Aerobatic Championships in the lovely Czech Republic.   The weather is fine and warm, amazing green even at the end of summer, for an Aussie anyway.   Moravska Trebova is a small town with a well equipped airfield for GA.  It also has some accomodation, a pub and restaurant and good hangarage.

Thursday, June 23, 2016


Well, it's been a long time since I last wrote here.   My apologies.   Been busy with the usual - life, family, work, but also flying some good (and not so good) aerobatics.   I'll try (can't promise) to do better.

Much has happened - consolidated my Unlimited flying, but still soooo much to learn and refine.   Was the AAC President for three years, just stepped down, so freeing up some time to do this sort of thing, and to enjoy my aerobatics more.

Participating in the last WAC in Texas was a privelege I never thought I would have a few short years ago.   Of course I was disappointed with my performance in the Known, but, if there is a next time I will be better prepared.   Watching and talking to the other pilots is wonderful and you can learn so much.    Knowing what it is you are trying to replicate, getting that picture in your brain, is priceless.

....some time later now, like three years, I re-read this draft and maybe publish it.   It is still true, and now I can add to it.  I think I will focus on one part of it - enjoying aerobatics.

Why do we fly?  Why do we fly aerobatics?  And in particular why do we do competitions?   Many people love the idea of flight, of the perceived freedom, the romance of flight (?), fewer and fewer people seem willing to undergo the training, learning and discipline of flying.   But there will always be some.   Closely associated with this notion of flying is the ability to experience flight in all three dimensions, unconstrained, thus some people do aerobatics.    And then, because of the psychologcal characteristics and disipline needed to achieve these goals, some pilots seek competition.   This is the pointy end where 'enjoyment' of aerobatics can get a bit blunted.

Being competitive types we tend to measure success in trophies won.  This is natural, but for most of us winning is not a regular occurrence.   When asked how I go, I don't answer 'won some, lost some', I use 'won some, lost more' as it is more correct!

So should we just stop and take up golf?   That's up to you, all I suggest is that to stay healthy and continue to 'enjoy' the sport you must find more in it than just counting wins.   In every comp there are many more people who don't win than those who do, so if you want to enjoy the sport more, get used to losing early!

Remember where you were with your flying before you started competing, or last year, maybe last month.   All of us have become better pilots through competition.   We learn by watching others, and by pushing ourselves to learn and do more difficult things.   Training for comp is repetitive - a traditional initial learning technique.   Then as we progress it all becomes more mental - striving for that peak performance.   Again, we need to learn and practice this.   Visualization, relaxation, memorisation, concentration, optimum stimulation at the right time.   Not many people in society do these things in their daily lives, so it is a bit alien.   But the skills are transferable to many aspects of our lives if we wish to apply them.

So we must enjoy learning and pushing ourselves to improve.   Enjoy this, don't make it a chore.   Enjoy learning like a child does, before they are taught to dislike learning by the school system!  Love learning just for the sake of it; gain skills not credentials, as someone once said.

Enjoy the flying of others, Aresti should be beautiful to watch when flown well - take pleasure from it, don't be (too) envious!   Be motivated by it.   That's why we do this sport, to achieve the beautiful picture we have in our head of what flying represents to us.

And, I'm sure all of us have at some time achieved the 'zone' when we flew seeing everything and doing everything without thought.    That is just golden, even if the judges didn't watch the same flight (if their scores are any indication).  You can go to sleep replaying that flight in your mind, reliving the sensations, chewing on it and extracting every calorie of mental nourishment.   Soup for the soul.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Roll Your Own

Aerobatics is hard enough as it is, both mentally and physically, without having to overcome an evil handling aircraft. To maximise performance and minimise time spent learning, a well set up aircraft is a must.

The human brain and body is amazing at adapting and learning things, but often pilots learn bad habits in order to overcome handling issues. Once you fly a well sorted aircraft, or improve yours, you have to unlearn those habits! How much easier would the pilot progression be if the aircraft was set up correctly from the beginning?

Modern monoplanes are extremely tunable and two similar looking aircraft can handle very differently, much like race cars. And just like in motor racing, some pilots are better, or take more care, setting-up an aircraft than others. It is difficult to find good info on the subject. There is virtually nothing written down that I can find specific to aerobatic aircraft. Often we must learn the hard way, through lots of thinking and experience, and listening to those that know. This would be easier if we understood Russian or French!

When you first purchase a dedicated competition aircraft, get a knowledgeable person to help you set it up, or get them to set it up for you, before you spend time and avgas compensating for handling problems. An aerobatic aircraft should be 'easy' to fly; not too heavy or light in pitch with good harmony between controls. Controls should be powerful, but not twitchy or overbalanced. You should feel comfortable and secure in the aircraft, not on edge and unbalanced. Try and relax, and loosen the grip on the seat cushion as well as the stick.

In roll the aircraft should respond to ailerons the same to the left and to the right, apart from the known slipstream and torque effects. And, importantly, the aircraft should roll the same from inverted as when upright! It is very common to find that this is not the case – try it yourself. It is obviously more difficult to fly good high-rate rolls when the characteristics are changing significantly as you go round, requiring you to make inputs to keep it all on track.

I won't be going into spade set up here, but it is a bit of a dark art about which there is much to know. Rather, I wish to explain a little discussed phenomenon....CG effects on rolling.

The effect of Centre of Gravity (CG) on pitch feel is pretty well known – the more aft the CG the lighter the stick force per G, and the less stable in pitch the aircraft is. But the CG position also has a secondary effect when rolling.

When upright S&L the horizontal tail must have a down load on it to balance the aircraft (whether this force is trimmed out or you hold it with the stick, it is still there). Think back to your PPL theory with an aircraft drawn in profile. The aircraft mass at the CG drawn as an arrow down, Lift up through the aerodynamic centre and a smaller down load on the tail. Just like a balanced see-saw with the pivot being the Lift arrow, or vector.

Now, imagine this aircraft force diagram is rolled suddenly to 90 degrees of bank. The aircraft mass still pulls down towards earth, but the wing and tail 'lift' forces continue to act perpendicular to the flying surfaces; that is, horizontally, not vertically. The see-saw is not balanced any more. What will the nose of the aircraft want to do.....?

What was a down force on the tail, is now a horizontal force wanting to 'pitch' the nose in the direction of roll, and the Lift force, rather than supporting the aircraft weight is supporting nothing! Unbalanced forces = acceleration, said Newton, so the aircraft must want to displace and pitch 'up' in the direction of the roll.

Try it yourself next time you fly, or think back to what happened during your waggles into the box as a novice. Did the nose come off line, and by the time three waggles were done you were 30 deg off axis, and all before you even started any aerobatics! The cure? A bit of forward pressure/movement on the stick as you waggled. This reduced wing angle of attack/lift, reduced tail 'down' load and thus helped you hold your aim point. Inverted the physics is the same, so you can work out those inverted wing waggles for yourself.....

Greater problems occur, and are less easily cured, in the dynamic environment of a rapid roll. There is more to learn here.

Getting back to PPL aerodynamics, and the reason for this article, how does CG position affect the download on the tail? Thinking like a see-saw, the closer the CG (mass arrow downwards) is to the Lift (upwards), then the less download will be required on the tail to balance (aeronautical engineers please forgive me the simplification).

So it follows that an aft CG, and thus reduced tail load, will also reduce the unwanted pitching that occurs when you roll. It will also reduce the forward stick needed when inverted. This will make rapid rolls much easier as you won't have to manipulate the stick fore and aft as much to stay on axis. You still have the tilted lift vector to cope with though – can't do much about that.

Now, we can't go to extremes here and move the CG too far back, as the aircraft will become unstable and NO elevator input will be required to pitch the aircraft. Think about this, and you should realise it is a BAD THING.

What is a reasonable CG position? Personally, I think for comp aeros in a purpose built monoplane you want it at least in the aft half of the recommended envelope, say 2/3 – ¾ of the way back. Usually, this is somewhere around 26-28% of Mean Aerodynamic Chord (MAC). You may want to creep up on this if new to high performance aircraft, starting with the CG a bit further forward, and as experience grows move it back as you become comfortable with the lighter pitch forces. Don't delay too long though, as you want to start building the right muscle and visual memory as soon as possible.

I recommend re-weighing and calculating the CG position whenever you get a new aircraft or make changes such as a lightweight starter, battery, prop or alternator. Don't rely on factory figures or those in the Flight Manual. They may still be legally OK but years out of date. Don't assume, find out for yourself so you KNOW – it's your time, money, and life. We are working in the aft end of the envelope, an inch CG movement can be 2% of MAC change, with a significant affect on stability if you go too far.

You don't need an Approved Weight Control Authority to do the re-weigh. You don't need to change the Official W&B figures, you just want to check for yourself what the actual figures are. Borrow or hire some reliable scales (car clubs, SAAA chapter), research how the job is done, or get someone knowledgeable to assist. Weigh the aircraft empty, then with acro fuel, and finally with both acro fuel and you kitted to fly. That way you will be able to calculate the actual moment arms for the fuel and pilot, so if you alter either of these you will still be able to calculate what the actual CG is. A spreadsheet makes the whole job very easy.

Roll On!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The changing styles of aerobatics

The changing styles of aerobatics

Aerobatics is not a stagnant sport. The rules evolve and change. The aircraft available change also, more power, more roll rate - more of everything. New pilots also come along with new ideas. While the core figures and elements may not change a whole lot, the combinations of them and where they are placed in the sequence definitely change.


Unlimited Frees from the 70’s (Fig.1 Zlin 526) and early 80’s (Fig.2 Henry Haigh, Haigh Superstar 1988 Free) look like extended Intermediate sequences to today’s eyes.


The number of figures allowed in the Free was reduced to 9 sometime after this, and sequences from the early 90’s are quite similar to today. In the late 90’s a bonus point system was introduced for Frees with fewer than 9 figures. This led to amazingly complex 7 figure Frees that were very busy to fly, and also made rational judging a superhuman task. (Fig.3 Cassidy Free 1999, CAP-222).


This experiment was dropped and the 9 figure Unlimited Free returned. This does not mean change has stopped, however (Fig.4 Mamistov Free 2008, Su-26M3).


A smart sequences with an even spread of K and designed to minimize losses. One exception would be the use of a full 4-roll rolling circle. It is difficult to get a good score on any roller, so usual practice would be to use the lowest K roller possible, and place it late in the sequence so as not to colour the judges’ opinion of other figures. Mamistov’s later 2011 and 2013 sequences did change the roller for a simpler one, influenced no doubt by the 2010 increase in K for all rollers. Similar comments may be made about the super-eight figure – lots of steady looping segments and 45’s with rolls to be centred. The figure is slow flying and allows judges to nit pick many elements, so hard to score well with. On the other hand it is a relatively easy figure to practice and refine to perfection, as Mamistov, twice powered world champion, obviously does.

Often recommended when designing a Free is to start with a killer figure at VNE and zoom to the moon – and this is the usual practice today. It conforms with the traditional approach of starting with lots of energy, assuming you will have less as you progress through the sequence (Fig.5 Le Vot WAC 2013 Free).


But this doesn’t suit everyone, particularly if you are ‘slow starter’ and take a figure or two to settle and get into the groove. If this is you, it may be better to start with a technically simpler figure and build through the flight (Fig.6 Cooper Free WAC 2013).


Supporting this ‘cautious’ approach is the fact you don’t get any chance to practice your start in the Free Programme – just the safeties and then straight into it. You should also consider that at a large International comp you may have to wait days between the Known and the Free – how current and fresh will you feel when your 15 minutes of fame comes?

That said, I think you can see a definite shift in Free design (the exception that proves the rule?). Possibly this latest move can be attributed to Renaud Ecalle and his Free of 2010 (Fig.7).


The horizontal start figure, able to be flown at the bottom of the box, is the defining characteristic of the new design style. Then the sequence climbs up for the spin and tailslide, and back down to finish with a minimalist roller at the bottom of the box. Maintaining energy throughout the sequence is not the concern it once was. These types of figures are also appearing more often elsewhere in sequences. Here is another start figure (Fig.8):


Accuracy and confidence are needed to make these explosive starts work for you (and no little amount of skill). Only 4 of the 57 Frees at the last WAC began with similar low rolling figures. Notable proponents were Holland, Thomas and Boerbon (2nd, 4th and 8th in the Free, respectively, USA). It doesn’t suit everyone, and it needs to be executed flawlessly. Maybe it is a risk that needs to be taken only if you are gunning for the World Title?

Tuesday, July 15, 2014



2014 Membership Renewals

All memberships are now due for renewal. Please go to the webstore and select your option and follow the instructions. Note that the preferred payment method is direct deposit and use your name and member number as reference on the payment.

Victorian Championships

The Vic Champs will be held at Tocumwal 2o-23rd February. Contest details and entry from will be on the website soon.


Will be held at Tocumwal afer flying Thursday 20th February. Formal notice will be issued closer to the date, however committee nominations must be received 28 days prior, i.e. by 23 Jan 2014. A sample nomination form is available here.
Something else to amuse you all....15th at the WAC was young Baptiste.


2014 Nationals

I wish to confirm that the 2014 Australian Aerobatic Championships will be held hosted by the SA Chapter at Waikerie 5-9 November 2014.

Rolling Record!

One of our members, Kingsley Just, is planning to set a new world record for the number of continuous rolls to raise money for medical research. Read more about it here
408 rolls.......that should only take about 6 minutes in the Giles!


From Charles regarding the Vics
Life is short. Flying is life. Don't short change your life by missing an opportunity to fly at the Vics next week.
We are happy to accept late registrations but it will now cost you a beer in addition to your comp fee.
The weather is looking very good and there is plenty of accommodation available in beautiful Tocumwal.
Check out the entry form and comp details here.
Don't delay, register today; and come fly with us next week.
Regards .. Charles Greatrex
AAC Vic Competition Secretary
On behalf of the 2014 Victorian Aerobatics Competition organising committee.
All me if you have any questions on 0419 313 161


For those not yet aware, I stepped down as President of the AAC at the AGM a couple of weeks back. My intention was always to do three years, and the time had come.
I'd like to thank the committee for their support over that period as we initiated and implemented many changes. The feedback from numerous members was also heartening, and I thank you for letting me know what you thought, both good and bad! Communicating is important in all parts of life, and even if it becomes emotive on occasion, it is better than not communicating at all. Get it out, get over it, and look ahead.
The new committee is being formed by Paul and Mal, and the Club will be ably led into the future. Competition fields have been strong, new competitiors and many pilots moving up the grades. I think the sport will always have challenges, but generally we are in OK shape. Their are many capable people within the Club with the necessary skills - don't undersell yourself, we can all contribute something to the sport (and we each must to keep things running).
While I am not planning to hold any position of responsibility for a while, I will still be active in the sport competing (but smiling more), issuing low levels, maybe an airshow or two and coaching (if anyone will listen!).
As is my wont, I'll finish with a video! One of the greatest aerobatic pilots and a 300L(?), on a cold day I suspect.
take care and fly safe,



Not 'Ho, Ho, Ho', but 'Hi-ho, hi-ho, it's back to work we go', unfortunately. Feels like I haven't stopped.
Memberships are now due for renewal. Please visit the webstore to renew (please use the 'renewal' option!!).
Remember, first competition is the Vic Champs early March. Standby for Boot Camp and AGM details.
safe flying


Victorian Championships

The Vic Champs are confirmed to be held on the previously listed dates (March 7-10). Accommodation has been found available at the establishment below:
18 cabins available, each with 2 bedrooms - 1 double and the other with 3 singles as bunks.
Also an onsite caravan and a lodge with 8 rooms each with 4-5 beds in each- available for any overflow.
BYO bed linen and towels.
Cabins $120 per night
Lodge rooms $45 per night.
Time Out Holiday Resort, Located Near Tocumwal, With Our Own Beach's Airstrip & Country Views.
19 Bridge St, Tocumwal VIC 2714, Australia
Phone number(03) 5874 2031
Main Email
Please make your own bookings ASAP as all other accommodation is taken due to a hot rod show on the same weekend. Entry forms etc. will be posted on the website soon.


The AAC AGM will be held during the Vic Champs. Standby for official notice and associated details.


Due to lack of planning and personnell, the bootcamp flagged for February has been postponed until May. I'll advise as soon as firm dates and plans are made.

Membership Renewals

We've had quite a few membership renewals already, but for those who haven't yet, could you please do so. It makes the admin load lighter if the Secretary gets all the memberships in one lump rather than dribble in over the year.

Key Rule Changes

The AAC Regulations and JHSC are being revised at present. The 2013 CIVA Section 6 should be issued soon also. Key changes are:
Sportsman will have Known, Free and and Unknown flights.
Intermediate will have Known, Free and Unknown (one only) and will use the 2013 Y52 sequences and figures.
Judges will no longer have to assess box outs.
ADV and UNL Q flights will now be counted in final results.

The best CAP-232 driver around at present?


2013 AAC AGM

We will be holding the AAC AGM on the Thursday night of the Victorian Champinships. Information and forms are available here. Nominations must be returned no later than this coming Thursday 7th February. I apologise for the short notice. Please consider nominating if you wish to help determine the future direction of the Club.

Membership Renewals

Keep them coming!

Aresti Dictionary

It is expected that many of the basic figures will be removed from the permitted Unknown figure section of the upcoming 2013 issue of CIVA Section 6. This will leave us without any handy reference to many base figures in the Aresti system when designing a sequence. Aresti dictionaries can be purchasd direct from Aresti for 13.5 Euro, plus postage. The AAC may be able to negotiate a bulk discount if enough are interested. If you would like to purchase a copy, let me know this month please.

Olan Update

I have heard that OLAN has been updated to 2013 specs. Check and see if it rocks your boat.

Victorian Champs

We should have the contest information on the website soon. Patience Grasshopper.


Vic Champs

The entry forms and contest information for the upocoming Victorian Aerobatic Championships are attached. These documents will also be availablew via the website.

2013 Australian Aerobatic Championships date change

Due to a conflicting event at Temora we have had to move the planned dates forward one week to 6-10th November. I sncerely hope this doesn't affect anyone planning on attending.

Avalon Airshow

Congrats to Jeremy Miller gaining a display slot at the airshow in the mighty Decathlon! Can't wait to see the shoulder rolls. Other aerobatic displays will be flown by Matt Hall in his MXS-R, Mellissa Pemberton in Mark McNicol's Edge-540 and Mark Jefferies flying Dieter Ebeling's Extra 330LX.


Victorian Champs

Please note that payments for the Vic comp must be made by direct deposit to the Vic Chapter account on the paperwork, not via the webstore.
Also, the 1400 briefing on Thursday 7th March is mandatory for Unlimited/ Advanced pilots and judges/officials only. The 1400 briefing on the Friday is mandatory for all participants.

Membership Renewals

Keep the memberships rolling in please, and spread the word to friends and family that Social and Chapter Only membership options are also available.

AGM Notice

Attached is the formal AGM Notice and Agenda. Please note the two motions to be put.
The first comes about as we had an excess of nominations for the Committee, as follows:
President - Grant Piper
Treasurer - Martyn Woodhouse
Club Captain - Paul Andronicou
Richard Wiltshire
Greg McConnell
Dave Clemence
Mal Beard
John Lee
Pete Pendergast
Jeremy Miller
Pete Townsend
I thought it better to welcome the 'new blood' for succession-planning purposes rather than having a ballot. Paragraph 43 of the AAC Articles of Association allows this:
43. The Club may from time to time by ordinary resolution passed at a general meeting increase or reduce the number of officers or other members of the Committee.
It's great to see new interest in the committee, and for succession planning a good mix of old and new hands. As I have stated before, I do not intend standing for a committee position next year, and there may be other retirements also.
The second motion is there to start the discussion, not an argument! I look forward to hearing everyone's views and ideas.
Thought of the day:- 'There are probably more dead pilots with surface waivers than live ones'


Sorry for the delay in issue of the 2013 AAC Regs, we should have it out soon now the 2013 CIVA Section 6 has been released .
There are minimal changes for Sportsman and below, apart from the addition of a Sportsman Unknown. ADV/UNL changes have been flagged to those pilots concerned.
Judges will no longer assess box outs, and there are some other detail judging changes. I'll try and fit in a brief at Tocumwal.
The changes for Intermediate category are more significant, now that we have adopted the CIVA Yak-52 rules. as follows.

Summary of Changes

  • CIVA Y52 known sequence to be used Y52 Known
  • Free rules as per CIVA (180K/12 figures)
  • CIVA unknown figures (CIVA 9.1) and versatility (CIVA, K restrictions (CIVA
  • No Free Unknown 2.
  • No Free Unknown. (Jury designed Unknown presented to pilots as per AAC 2012)
  • No change in Intermediate Height limits or Safety Figures from AAC 2012
  • Penalties/Time Limits as for CIVA (10 min Known, 15 min others).
  • Positioning K =15 all flights.

2013 AAC Regulations

The 2013 Regs are now here for download. We will also soon send out the USB sticks again, pre-loaded with .pdfs of the documents. I still have some tidying up to do, but the content won't change.
Note the *NEW* initial issue of Section 1 - Administration. A place to keep all the admin stuff rather than clogging up the Section 2 - Operations part. Of most importance is the Media Manual (courtesy of the APF) and Serious Accident Response Plan (courtesy of the BAeA). Some items will move between Sections to where they fit best.


The Y52 Frees flown last year at the YakWAC are available here. For those that need a new Free and don't have time to design one, here are some proven sequences to start with.


As expected I guess, the motion below has caused some discussion ahead of the AGM.
'That the AAC Committee investigate methods of merging the AAC and Chapters into one organisation'
I wish to assure everyone that this is simply an opportunity to discuss the structure of the AAC and Chapters by the membership, and what changes might work better for us all. No decisions or conclusions are predestined. I admit I could have drafted a better Motion that didn't imply a solution when we haven't decided what the problems are exactly. I am considering an amendment to the motion at the AGM.


Vic Champs

Great weather and a great weeknd at sunny Tocumwal. Almost perfect weather for aerobatics, though a bit warm on occasion. 27 pilots from Entry up, which is good to see. Congrats to all who participated and well flown, some big improvements I did see. The new Unknowns and Knowns for Sportsman and Intermediate workerd Ok and kept people on their toes. Results are up on the website and I believe some pics are about also (FB?). Thanks to the organisers and officials for the weekend, from where I sat it all ran pretty well.
Only one narrowly averted incident that needs mentioning as a reminder that sh1t can always happen. An aircraft had a flat tire and was left on the taxiway between 36 and 27. I saw it on the way out, but on my return went into automatic and completely forgot it was there. Saw the Pitts at the last second and hit the brakes, lifting the tailwheel past level, and stopped with a metre or two to spare. Luckily no damage done, but it was almost very different. No one was in the parked aircraft, but it shook me up quite a bit.


The AGM was held in conjunction with the Vic Champs. The 2013 Committe is as follows:
President - Self
Treasurer - Martyn Woodhouse
Club Captain - Paul Andronicou
Richard Wiltshire
Greg McConnell
David Clemence
Mal Beard
Peter Pendergast
Peter Townsend
John Lee
Jeremy Miller

There was a good discussion on the future form of the Club, percieved problems and proposed solutions. It was gratifying to see such free and frank communication between the members at an AGM. Once the minutes are done I'll circulate them to all.


If anyone has some good aerobatic pictures, we could use some new ones to add to the website header rotisserie. Please have look on the hard drive and send them through.
On the topic of websites, it seems a busy time. Recent additions are a US-based forum: and this one is Europe-based:
And if you want to train in Spain, in a 330SC or Sbach:
Also a new competition to be held this year

Meanwhile in NZ

No, not another sheep joke Brad, but the NZ Nationals were held last weekend. And absent-but-not-forgotten Russell Bell won over Richard Hood in Advanced. (no Unlimited was flown). Well done Russell.


All the NSW members hsould have been advised by now, but if you don't know already the NSW AGM is to be held at the AOPA hangar Bankstown Saturday 6th April at 4pm.
Until next time - Relax, Trim (if you have any) and Enjoy!


South Australian Championships

As per my last email, the SA Champs are on again at Murray Bridge April 11-13th, along with the Barosssa Valley Airshow on the Sunday. Details on the website.

West Australian Event

WA is also having a comp at Jurien Bay 20-21st April. Contact Adam Gibbs for info, we'll get something on the website soon.


Finally have the minutes etc done - thanks Jo. Attaching minutes and financials as reviewed by the Accountant. I've included some additional notes regarding the financials in the text of the minutes after questions at the meeting.


The Committee discussed this some time ago and agreed it would be a good step to employ part-time to assist with bookeeping and admin duties. The job description appears in Section 1 -Administration, Appendix 1-6, and is attached for reference.
I wish therefore to formally advertise the position to the membership. 4-6 hours per month, hourly rate to be negotiated. Please write to the Committee if you are interested. If we have no interested people from within the membership we will look outside.

WAC Update

Our Preliminary Entry has been submitted and accepted, along with the entry fees. We are still searching for aircraft, some have been confirmed. We have had one Team Meeting and should have more info up on the website soon. Various members have offered assistance in the leadup and during the WAC. Great to have some friendly support at the event to take some of the load off the pilots.

Boot Camp

We are planning another Boot Camp at Yarrwonga 29th May -2 June. Info and bookings will be open on the website shortly, limited to six places. The last was well received and it is a good way to hasten progress. Funds raised will go to the WAC fund.


2013 AAC Accountant's Report
2013 AAC AGM Minutes
2013 Secretary/Bookeeper Job Description

Aresti Catalogues

I have 2013 Power Aresti Dictionaries available for immediate delivery. Limited numbers, so if you want one let me know ASAP. $28 ea. including (domestic) postage.

CASA Radio Exemption

CASA has reissued the radio exemption as EX35/13. Note the sensible improvements over the last one.

CIVA Section 6 Clarification Regarding Direction of Flight Cross-Box

Quoting (associated explanation here):
CIVA President Lars Arvidsson has asked me to send out a clarification of Regulation 6.6 and more specifically following a query on how this rule is to be interpreted, please find the attached summary,
Best regards,
John Gaillard
Chairman CIVA Judging Sub-Committee

2014 Intermediate/Y52 World Championship - South Africa

I've had one expression of interest from a member wanting to participate in this event. So if you are also of a mind to throw your hat in the ring, give it some thought and planning time and let me know.

SA Champs

By all accounts a good competiton, well run, safe, and enjoyable. 20 pilots, results in the usual place.

WA Mini-Comp

The WA Chapter was also having a run a Jurien Bay but I've not heard any reports yet.
To that end, I'd like to see reports of events written that we can put on the webpage. It doesn't have to be long, just a quick wrap of the event at the end of the weekend. Even some pics. Keeps the webpage active and fresh, for those not actually at the event.
Fly safe.


Winter is here, and finally a little rain. 'nuff of the farmer talk.

Queensland Championships

Are on 26-29th July hosted by the Watts Bridge Chapter.......details are on their website

West Australian Championships

Are to be held at Murrayfield 7-8th September. We'll get the details on to the website soon. The sandgropers have asked if experienced volunteers are available to assist with the running of the competition. If you are interested contact Adam Gibbs or myself. WA are great hosts and will look after you, and the AAC can help subsidise travel costs if required.

Aresti Dictionaries

I still have some 2013 editions available - $25 each including postage. Very handy for drawing and checking sequences when you don't know the catalogue numbers by heart, even when using a computer programme.

What a segue. For those that haven't tried it yet, Openaero has some very handy features and is worth a look.

Sportsman Unknowns Archive

A Sportsman pilot has asked me if we are keeping an archive of Sportsman Unknowns now that we are flying them. The short answer is no, I haven't. But if people could send me what they have flown at recent comps I'll get them on the website. Ditto for the other categories.
Gravity always wins.


The performance is good but the canopy leaks are a bit cool - winter is here. Some links for your long winter evenings:
An excellent recent interview with Xavier de Lapparent at Snap & Roll, and a video also. Incredible that he won the Breitling World Cup and was World Champion at age 24! What hope for us underachievers?
And another old one - I haven't seen a Lazer this dynamic before. (turn the sound down and watch).
Finally, some silence. Luca Bertossio, 2012 World Advanced Champion in the Swift.
A reminder that the QLD Champs are on July 26.
Keep the rubber side up.


A quick update on things aerobatic. Many National comps in the northern hemisphere over the last month or so.
A quick wrap: Anselmo Gamez won the Spanish title ahead of Castor Fantoba. Francois le Vot is French Champion, and Gerald Cooper retained his British title in fairly new field of Unlimited pilots, missing the long-time competitor Tom Cassells. Of note in that comp is that the weather was good, and a visiting Japanese pilot, Tomonari Kaji, won the 2nd Free Unknown flying an Extra 200! The German's competed last weekend, with Martin Albrecht winning there.
Another reminder that the QLD champs are on soon, check out their webpage for entry details.
We have added some new photos to the webpage header, if you have more contact me and we'll get them slotted in also. We've updated the Team Australia page with pics and short bio's of the members. You may also note we have removed the credit card payment option on the webpage, as discussed at the AGM, direct deposit is now the preferred option.
T-shirt sales are a bit slow, but if you are in the market for beanie this winter, check out the AAC ones on the website.
don't crash


CIVA Stuff

The Known proposals for UNL/ADV/Y52/INT in 2014 are out for review prior to voting on at the next CIVA meeting. I've attached them here for your perusal. Read'em and weep.
Rule change proposals to be considered for 2014 are also available at if you wish to get ahead of the game.

European Advanced Championship

The European Advanced Championships were held just recently in Poland - see for info and results ' Simon de la Breteche won overall and the French cleaned up pretty much. If you go here you will find some video of the Russian flying, and current World Champion Mikhail Mamistov, who flew as warm-up pilot for the event!

2014 WAAC and Y52/INT Championships

Next year there are two international events on that AAC members have already expressed interest in. The World Advanced Aerobatic Championships will be held in Dubnica, Slovakia in August. We are in a very good position to send a full team of men to this event, so if this fits with your goals then start seriously thinking of how to make it happen. Contact me if you wish to discuss logistics etc.
The inaugaural combined Yak-52 and Intermediate competition will be held in Mossel Bay, South Africa November 2014.
The AAC can provide moral and usually a little financial support for those competing overseas at Championship events, but the major effort rests with the individuals or Team to make it all happen. Being a CIVA-affiliated sporting club, the AAC supports participation in these events.


If you know of someone up-and-coming in the Club who deserves some assistance to reach their goals, then nominate them for the Matt Hall Racing Scholarship. A day of one-on-one coaching with Matt is the prize, full details are in Appendix 1-4 of the AAC Regulations. Send your nominations to me or your local AAC committee member.


The Queensland Champs have been and gone. A good field with many southerners travelling north for some winter fun. The weather behaved I believe this year, apart from some fog. Well done on another safe comp. See here for full results.
We have the WA and NSW State Champs on in September, check the website for details. Note that the NSW Champs are to be held at Narromine, for something new. Facilities are excellent and the SAAA and Narromine Council have been very helpful. A bit further north for any Victorians travelling, but the weather should be good. A bit handier to the Queenslanders also. Accommodation is at a premium so make your bookings early.
Murrayfield is the location for the WA Champs, and Adam has put a lot of work into planning for the event. I can't attend either of the above, but wish both Chapters well with their competitions.
The 2013 Australian Championships at Temora should by now be more than pencilled in on your calendar. Preliminary details are on the website, and last weekend DCom and I visited Temora to ensure we had all the required equipment on-site and to recce dinner locations. If you are holding perpetual trophies from 2012 could you make arrangements to get them to Temora, and let me know please, so I don't worry, much.
I know it seems early, but some thought also needs to go into applications to host the 2014 Australian Championships. If your Chapter would like to host, then give it some thought and send something through to the AAC Committee by the end of September. I've had some input that we should look even further ahead and publish the location of the Nationals out for 3-4 years, so people can plan better. I heard a rumour of a combined WA/SA effort at Forrest in 2016......


The antennas to go with the NSW base station radio have gone missing. Last seen at Tocumwal (disputed!). If anyone knows the whereabouts of the items please let me know ASAP.

WAC 2013

No bad news so it's all good news. Rob Noonan and Paul Andronicou are leaving early September to fly the US Nationals, so that will be an excellent work-up. Rich Wiltshire has his MXS in Derby WA and flying daily - apparently no noise complaints up there! 63 entrants so far for the Championships, larger than recent fields. You can follow the event here.
And when I say it, I really mean it - don't crash.


It's 4:30am and Rob and Paul A. would be touching down in Dallas about now - the physical journey to WAC2013 has begun. The mental journey started many months ago. In the next couple of days they will get their US licences, recce the comp venue and do their US flight review and training in preparation for the US Nationals.. Richard, Paul B. and I will follow over the coming month.
It is interesting to look back at the history of the AAC in the top level of competition. The AAC was incorporated as a company in 1977, though we have competition results from as early as 1974, when Chris Sperou won at Point Cook, ahead of Guido Zuccoli, John Patterson, Hilton Selvey and Jim Scott. The results were repeated in 1976, again at Point Cook, ditto 1977 and 1978, but with Graham Goodson ion the mix. You can trawl through past results by following the archive links on the AAC website.
1978 is thefirst appearance of Australians at a WAC. The WAC was held in Czechoslovakia with Guido 31st, Hilton 38th and Rob Poynton 39th out of 48. Ivan Tucek won, Kermit Weeks came 2nd. 1980 was Oshkosh USA with the USSR boycott, and only 9 competitors shown on the CIVA website archive, 6 of which came 4th? Leo won this one, ahead of Henry Haigh. Rob Poynton, Bill Waterton and Frank Fry from Oz were there. I'll have to research what exactly happenned there, I didn't think weather cut the programme short.
Austria 1982 Victor Smolin,finished at the top ahead of Henry Haigh and Manfred Strossenreuther. Frank Fry came in 22nd, Chris Sperou 24, Geoff Selvey 29 and Hilton Selvey 38 out of 65. Interestingly, Frank Fry was one behind Claude 'Coco' Bessiere wheo went on to win in 1990 and is now long time coach/manager of the French Team.
1984 was Hungary and Petr Jirmus (CZ) won ahead of Manfred Strossenreuther (Germany - the Western bit). Frank Fry came in 8th, the best result ever for an Australian, flying a Laser. Geoff Selvey was 21, Chris Sperou was 21, and the evergreen Mal Beard 37 in a field of 48. This is the year the Sukhoi 26 appeared and changed the game.
I'll continue with this next time, I can hear the cows calling me.


WA Comp a success, results up on the AAC website, and a short vid.Good job Adam and the WA mob, as well as Dave Clemence who travelled across to CJ. If you peruse the results you will see one Bill Waterton back in the saddle! Wonderful stuff.
URGENT: Upcoming NSW Champs, entry info is on website here: please enter ASAP, as no one has yet! DCom is getting worried......also note late entries after 17th Sep may attract a late fee.
Continuing on from the last update, some extra info has come my way. The full 1980 results are as below - excellent team work by Bill Waterton, Frank Fry, Rob Poynton, Hilton Selvey and Chris Sperou.
1. LOUDENSLAGER Leo - USA - Laser 200
2. HAIGH Henry - USA -Pitts S1S
3. WEEKS Kermit - USA - Weeks Special
4. STROSSENREUTHER Manfred - FRG - Zlin 50L
5. MELTON Chipper - USA - Pitts S1S
6. COLLIER Tom - USA - Pitts S2S
7. BRANDT Michael - SWI - Christen E-1
8. SCHWEIZER Christian - SWI - Christen E-1
9. MUELLER Eric - SWI - Cap 21
10. PENA Louis - FRA - Cap 21
11. WATERTON Bill - GBR - Pitts S1S
12. MEESON Philip - GBR - Pitts S1S
13. JOURDAN No�l - FRA - ASA 200
14. FRY Frank - AUS - Pitts S1S
15. PRICE Gordon - CAN - Ultimate Pitts
16. LIESE Hermann - FRG - Zlin 50L
17. GOODE Richard - GBR - Pitts S1S
18. POYNTON Rob - AUS - Pitts S2S
19. PADDEN Ian - GBR - Pitts S2S
20. COLLIERE Bernard - FRA - Cap 20L
21. DALLAN Sergio - ITA - Cap 20L
22. FEUGRAY G�rard - FRA - ASA 200
23. SELVEY Hilton - AUS -Pitts S2S
24. SENIOR Ian - GBR - Pitts S1S
25. HARPER John - GBR - Pitts S1S
26. JAEGLE Wolfgang - FRG - Pitts S1S
27. SPEROU Chris - AUS - Pitts S1S
28. YOUNGER Gerry - CAN -Pitts S1S
29. TURVEY Nick - RSA - Pitts S1S
30. LAFILLE Jean-Pierre - FRA - Cap 20L
31. WURSTER Hermann - FRG -Pitts S1S
32. HAY Bob - RSA - Pitts S1S
33. EXTRA Walter - FRG - Pitts Extra
34. OTTEN Noel - RSA - Pitts S1S
35. PERCY Warren - RSA - Pitts S1S
36. JENKINSON Frank - CAN - Pitts S1S
37. LUCIA Massimo - ITA - Cap 20L
38. LOCATELLI Aldo - ITA - Cap 20L
39. NARDI Diego - ITA - Cap 20L
40. COLANGELO Nicola - ITA - Cap 20L
41. ZEEDERBERG Brian - RSA -Pitts S1S
42. KENNEDY Bill - CAN -Pitts S1S

1. STEWART Betty - USA -Pitts S1S
2. JOHNSON Patti - USA -Pitts S2S
3. MOORE Paula - USA - Pitts S1S
4. MARION (MAUNOURY) Catherine - FRA - ASA 200
5. GEMINEL Fran�oise - FRA - Cap 20L
6. COLLIERE Rose-Marie - FRA - Cap 20L
7. ROUX (MAIRE) Marianne - FRA - Cap 20LS
8. COLLINGS Pam - NZE - Pitts S1S
9. PERRONET Sylvie - FRA - Cap 20L
Correction for 1984 in Hungary, Chris Sperou came 25th, right behind Jurgis Kairys.
In 1986 the WAC was hosted by the UK and Geoff Selvey came 24th, Chris Sperou 33rd, Peter Larsen 38th. Petr Jirmus (CZ) won, ahead of Kermit Weeks (USA) and Viktor Smolin (USSR).
1988 was held in Alberta, Canada, but the results are missing from the CIVA archive.
1990 was Switzerland's turn, and Coco Bessiere won ahead of Patrick Paris and Nicolay Nikitiuk (USSR), while there were no Australians.
1992 in France was a washout. 1994 was back to Hungary with a big field of 83. Australians competing were Steve Hart 60th, Bonnie Palmer 61st and Tom Moon 75th. This was Xavier de Lapparent's year, winning both the WAC and Breitling World Cup.
1996 was back to the USA, Oklahoma, and another big field of 79. The tables turned this time, Tom Moon 53rd and Steve Hart 61st. Viktor Chmal (RU) prevailed ahead of Patrick Paris (FR) and Nicolay Timofeev (RU). Interestingly, both Paris and Timofeev are going to compete at this year's WAC after a long competition break. Paris as an Independent and Timofeev as an American! It will be a privilege to see them fly.
1998 was in Slovakia and Patrick Paris won, but I can't find full results of this contest either.
The year 2000 France hosted, and Frenchman Eric Vazeille prevailed ahead of Mikhail Mamistov (RU) and Eddie Dassau (FR). John Ambler came 31st out of 49.
Another WAC was held in 2001 as the event moved from even to odd years. However, it was not until 2011 in Italy when Richard Wiltshire and Paul Andronicou competed that Australians again ventured afield, managing 41st and 35th, respectively.
The FAI website has most of the results archived here and more recent contests here. Snap and Roll has a good wrap on the history of aerobatic competition on their website here
Roll on Texas, 27 sleeps to go.


 NSW Championships
Next week end at Narromine. The comp details are on the website. Should be a great venue so go take a look if you can.
WA Champs Full results are up now, and another vid of the event here.
Classifieds A few movements in aircraft ownership about the place, and some fresh listings in our classifieds section - check it out.
Past WAC Results Funnily enough, wikipedia has a good summary of all the past World Championships! Best of all, in the reference section at the bottom are links to the German Aerobatics website which has complete listings with no omissions. So the missing 1988 Alberta results - Henry Haigh, Kermit Weeks, Jurgis Kairys - no Aussies attending. One extra Aussie international result to mention is Matt Hall at the 2008 EAC - H/C but 24th in the points standing. Mamistov and Ecalle 1st and 2nd - what a line up!
2013 Australian Aerobatic Championships The details of this year's Championships should be on the website this week. Please download and read the Event Management Plan as well as the entry form. We have booked both the Museum bunkhouses as well as the caravan park bunkhouses. When you ring to book a bed, tell them you are with the AAC. Also, do not bulk-book unless you are sure of filling the beds please.
Next time you head out to try some positive conic lomcevaks, have a look at this first.



Thanks to all who wished us well while away at the WAC, and I apologise if we didn't perform up to expectations. Must be something going around that affects Australian swimmers, footballers, cricketers and tennis players....seriously though, it was great to get your messages and wonderful to have so many Aussies turn up at the event and support us. Shows that there is great interest in the sport at this level. With fear I may omit someone, I'll list those who dropped in to say gidday: David, Jenny, Navec, Greg, Rod, Warren, Charlie, Dan, Dieter and Darrel and family. Thank you all.
Full results are here.
Rob had a solid Known, while the rest of us struggled to get it together. High wind and poor comp organisation meant delays and stop-start flying throughout. It rained for four days before we could complete the Known, meaning many pilots hadn't flown since practice prior to the comp starting. Personally, it was 7 days between flying the Known and the Free.
The Free programme went quicker, with wind rules relaxed to 14 m/s and no boundary judges. Rob had another solid flight but got blown onto the judges. Paul flew a barnstorming Free with excellent positioning and accuracy deserving of his score. Rich's Free was pretty well flown and deserving of better marks I thought. My Free went as planned, which was a relief after my horror Known.
Then, due to the limited time remaining, it was proposed that a 50% cut be made so they could complete the Unknown 1 Programme for the top pilots. Thus we only got two competition flights in ten days - very disappointing after the time, effort and $$ expended. To conclude on a high note, we did beat the Canadians in the Team points standing!
I'll write some more on the WAC at a later time, but for now here are some vids of Mamistov at work: Outside, and inside. And you may get a view of the new World Champion at work here.

2013 Australian Aerobatic Championships

We've received 15 entries thus far, and with normal entries closing tomorrow can I ask you to expedite your applications if you intend participating. Our landline has been down for a week, so if you have tried faxing your entry without success, drop us an email as a headsup. I will advise when we are receiving faxs again for you to fax your entry through.
If you plan to practice at Temora ahead of the comp, please note that our NOTAM and CASA Instrument will only be active from the Wednesday onwards. Flying ahead of this will be a private activity only with the normal procedures and considerations (ie. remain on CTAF and above 500ft).


Sorry to bother you again so soon. To the point:
1. Our fax is working again 02-63774556.
2. Remember, you must be a national AAC member to fly at the Nationals.
3. We have received 33 entries so far, but about 15 haven't paid the entry fee. Does this sound like you? Per the EMP;
Entry fees may be paid via EFT to the following AAC account. Please quote your membership number and surname on the EFT transfer.
BSB: 084 402 Account Number: 54 237 1674
4. 2014 Competition Calendar - if any Chapters have dates yet for their 2014 competition, please let me know so we can get them on the website pronto.
5. 2014 Nationals - where and when? Again, Chapters need to consider if they wish to host the event next year.
6. Planning a judging seminar next Tuesday night before the comp. Not that you all need it after a full year's work-up. Beer and pizza accompaniment.
7. To finish on a more enjoyable note, try this link for some good stuff or search vendee sports. aeriens.


Further answers to questions I have had:
The bank account name is Australian Aerobatic Club, NAB. Please quote your membership number and surname on the EFT transfer. BSB: 084 402 Account Number: 54 237 1674
Trophies - could all those holding perpetual trophies please arrange to have them returned to me at Temora prior to the presentation dinner Saturday.
Dinner tickets will cost $45 and be on sale at Temora. Please advise ASAP if you are attending for catering purposes.
Intermediate Official Practice - contrary to the draft programme there will be an official practice flight (10min) for Intermediate on Wednesday, IAW AAC Regs.
34 entries so far.


Australian Aerobatic Championships

The 2013 Nationals were held successfully at Temora a short while ago. 37 registered pilots across all grades, including three in Unlimited and several first-time competitors. This is an excellent turn out and everyone pulled their weight to get the 102 incident-free flights done. The only flights dropped were the Advanced 2nd Unknown due to weather. Well done everyone.
Particular thanks go to David Pilkington for being CJ and spending many hours on the judging line, and to Annete in the office assisted by Di Stone and Kay Vernall. The Temora Council and Aero Club were also excellent in their support.
Richard Wiltshire is once again Australian Aerobatic Champion - well flown Rich. There was also some outstanding flying in other categories resulting in high scores. Overall highest percentage score went to Dieter Ebeling, EA-330LX Interrmediate, Highest First Time Sportsman went to Lyndon Trethewey, RV-6 and the Team Trophy went to NSW ahead of WA and SA. For full results are here.
For those that took pictures at the Nationals and the Presentation dinner, could you please email some through to Peye Prendergast.
For those people who received trophies at the Nationals, we will get the final ones engraved and sent out as soon as possible.

2014 Nationals

Any Chapter interested to host the 2014 Nationals please let me know, as I'd like to discuss it at this week's committee meeting.

2014 Calendar of Events

Similarly, the dates for comps and other activities for 2014 needs to be considered now. If you have a date in mind for your competition in 2014, send it through to me.

2014 Known Sequences

The CIVA Known sequences (Intermediate/Y52, Advanced and Unlimited) have been issued and I will get copies on the website ASAP. If you want them immediately they are on the CIVA website to download. Sportsman, Graduate and Entry Knowns for 2014 will be available by January. If you wish to submit a sequence for these categories get it to me ASAP.

AAC Regulations

Review of the AAC Regs will take place over summer, if you have Rule Change Proposals get them to me in a legible format ASAP.

2014 International Competitions

There is much interest by members in attending the inaugaural Intermediate World Championship in South Africa next year, as well as the World Advanced Aerobatic Championships in Slovakia. If you wish to participate in either of these and haven't contacted me yet, please do so.
Until next time, Relax, Trim and Enjoy!


2014 Comp Dates

Vic Champs 20-23 Feb
SA Champs 2-4 April
NSW Champs 5-7 Sep
QLD Champs 25-27 Jul
Nationals 5-9 or 19-23 November TBC, location TBA.
Another request, if you have pictures taken at the recent Nationals in Temora and the Presentation Dinner, please send them to Peter Pendergast for upload to the webpage.

2014 AGM

Plan to hold this at the Vic Champs.
Another vid from the WAC
And the bid video for the 2014 EAC - what is the last bit about?


A short wrap to finish the year and let you get back to the xmas spirit!

Statistics (no lies)

During 2013 we flew about 240 competition flights by my figuring, without any accidents or serious incidents. Well done to all who flew and managed our operations - pat yourselves on the back for an outstanding result. Let's do it again in 2014.

2014 Sequences

The Known sequences for 2014 are now available from the Sequences page.

Matt Hall Racing Scholarship

I am pleased to announce that Cass Moeller is the 2013 recipient of the MHR Scholarship. Cass, with partner Pete and the AAA crowd have been regular competitors at just about every comp over the last few years. The visible improvement and consistency in their flying is gratifying to see, and Cass's flying at the 2013 Nationals was the best I'd seen from her. Past recipients have been Ben Brazier and Adrian van der Sluys. Maybe we can nudge Cass up to Advanced in the near future.......:)


The AAC recently received a letter from Berrigan Shire (Tocumwal) with a list of charges they intend applying from Jan 2014. They want $1000 pa for up to two events per year, and for single use it is $50 per aircraft per 3 day booking period. These charges make it quite undesirable to operate there, despite the excellent facilities, IMO.
A little bit of French history in this video and an iconoclastic little excerpt that changes everything - shattered I was.
Fly safe and Merry Xmas.