Over the next few weeks I'll be adding information relevant to aerobatics pilots, judges, and others interested in the sport. The best place to start is usually at the beginning, so off we go!
Like many other beginners, you probably aren’t quite sure how to go about getting involved in competition aerobatics. But, like most sports, the first thing to do is join your local club ( nsw.aerobatics.asn.au ) where you will find many like-minded people who can point you in the right direction.
The first step, if you already have a pilot licence, is to get an aerobatic endorsement. Flying schools that can do this are listed on the contacts page of our website. The syllabus and aircraft type may vary between schools, but as a minimum you will need to be able to fly the basic aerobatic manoeuvres: barrel roll, loop, slow roll, roll of the top and stall turn. You will also need a spinning endorsement, which most schools should include in their aerobatic syllabus.
Some Furphy’s you may hear:
1. ‘You need a parachute to fly aerobatics.’ This furphy arose because in the
2. ‘You need a Low Level Waiver/Permission to compete.’ No, in the lower grades (up to Sportsman) you can come along and fly above 3000ft
3. ‘It costs a lot to join the AAC and there aren’t many competitions.’ This was true once, but now you can elect to join only your local State Club and only pay their membership fee ($38 p.a. in NSW). This will allow you to fly in all NSW Club Training Days, Club Competitions and the annual State Championship. Check the calendar on the website, but we have something on every month except Dec/Jan . So you can get value for money and not have to travel interstate.
4. ‘I need a specialist aerobatic aircraft.’ You will need an aircraft that is approved for aerobatics, true, but any aerobatic training aircraft can be flown competitively up to and including Sportsman category. Intermediate category is where basic aerobatic aircraft start to become limiting. You don’t even need inverted fuel and oil systems in the lower grades (Entry, Graduate, Sportsman). Victa, Citabria, Aerobat, Tiger Moth, Tipsy Nipper, Robin/Alpha, Stampe, Skybolt, RV-4/6/7/8, T-18, Cassutt, Corby Starlet, Sonerai – and many more, can get you into the sport at an affordable price.
So give it some thought and make some enquiries. Next time we'll look at the competition categories.
Don't forget our next training weekend is the 8-9th August at Cowra.