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Viewing posts written by 'Adrian Willis'

Flying in the Aerobatic Box

Flying in the Aerobatic Box I fly with students as a safety pilot in aerobatic competitions on a fairly regular basis. Flying as safety pilot provides a unique experience because I am watching somebody compete, somebody I have probably trained and know their flying abilities well. Their actual performance on the “big day” is often […]

Why do a Tail-Wheel Course?

Being an aviation enthusiast, I enjoy bringing the joy of aviation to others. I feel that the enjoyment of pure flying is being forgotten or lost. In most cases todays pilots just do not realise what they are missing. I would like to describe the merits of our magnificent 1946 Cessna 140 so that others […]

Formation Flying with the British Aerobatic Academy by Robert Hunter

We are at 2000 feet, G-EEEK, the British Aerobatic Association’s Extra 200 flying straight and level, buffeted slightly by unseen turbulence.    I am concentrating hard, trying to stay one step ahead of my aircraft.   Limited though my skills are, flying straight and level would not ordinarily be that much of a problem.  But […]

The Stall Turn or Hammerhead

The stall turn is a magnificent aerobatic figure.  It looks graceful and elegant when flown well but is actually very challenging to fly perfectly and the further up the aerobatic ladder you go, the more challenging it becomes with ever more difficult embellishments and energy management issues. The vanilla stall turn has a k factor of […]

Navigation – Using Mental Dead Reckoning to Calculate Drift

The Dalton Computer or Whiz Wheel is certainly a very good tool, perhaps better than an electronic calculator because it is visual and allows you to check your answers “by inspection”.  A much easier technique however, is Mental Dead Reckoning.  With practice MDR is easy and quick. In this short blog, I will develop the theory from the […]

Navigation – Intro to MDR

In addition to aerobatic training, we teach other flying skills including Navigation. We even deliver PPL training aiming for the quality end of the market rather than a quick skim through to gain a “boy scout badge” only to lack sufficient confidence to enjoy flying later. As I have a background in navigation, it seems natural to […]

How to Fly a Loop

In aerobatics, all manoeuvres stem from just a few “prime” figures and the loop is probably the most important of these since it is most prevalent. Even a Stall Turn (Hammer Head for our colonial cousins) incorporates a quarter loop at entry and exit. If you are to succeed in aerobatic competitions, it is therefore essential […]

Spinning Part 4 – How to Fly the Competition Spin

In previous blog posts we described the judging criteria for the aerobatic competition spin. In this blog I will describe how to fly it and highlight common errors. Aircraft spin differently according to how you enter the spin. If you are to recover on heading, you need to apply a consistent recovery technique to a […]

New Years Resolutions and Aerobatics

What’s your New years resolution? Traditionally the beginning of the New Year calls for strengthening ones resolve to get things done. Aerobatics of course requires commitment and application and therefore needs this resolve. I urge everybody to reorganise their priorities and do it, the only real thing in life is making memories! I used to […]

Spinning Part 3, The Competition Spin

In part 1 I introduced spins and explained the importance of learning to spin. In part 2 I explained the aerodynamics of the spin and the effects of various control inputs. In this blog I will describe the difference between a normal spin and the competition spin and then list the judging criteria. In my next blog (spinning part 4)  I […]