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Viewing 'Intermediate' posts

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 […]

How to Fly a Half Cuban Eight

The half Cuban-Eight combines a loop element, a 45° line and a half roll. It is a nice aerobatic figure and regularly features in Club, Sportsman and Intermediate level competitions as well as in later levels, though there tend to be several additional embellishments at Advanced and Unlimited. Whilst relatively straight forward, there are several […]

The Humpty Bump

A ‘Humpty Bump’ is an aerobatic figure that comprises of two straight lines joined by a looping element. The lines can be either vertical or 45° lines and can start going up or down. Depending on the aerobatic level, there are often plenty of embellishments ensuring the K factor is high. Many Humpty Bumps will have a […]

Centre of Gravity Track (CGT) & Zero Lift Axis (ZLA)

To judge aerobatics we look at the aircraft and measure either the imaginary line it draws (Centre of Gravity Track) or the direction the aircraft is pointing along the aircrafts axis (Zero Lift Axis). We therefore need to understand these two concepts and then understand which to apply and when.     Centre of Gravity Track […]

Slow Roll or Aileron Rolls

In this post I will discuss how to fly an aerobatic slow roll in the horizontal, 45º and vertical plane following the CIVA judging criteria.  Slow rolls are often referred to as aileron rolls to distinguish them from ‘flick’ or ‘snap’ rolls (something I will discuss in a separate post). The main difference being that in […]

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 […]

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 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 […]

Spinning Part 2, The Aerodynamics of a Spin

When an aircraft wing “stalls”, the airflow detaches from the wing and reduces lift and increases drag. The stall is the name given to this condition which is caused by the angle of attack (alpha) being excessive or going beyond critical. The speed this occurs at varies according to various factors including G, weight, power […]

Spinning Part 1 – Overcoming the Fear of Spinning

During your flying training, you may have been lucky enough to experience a spin. Unfortunately it is no-longer a syllabus requirement for either the PPL or CPL course. So quite probably you will only have been taught how to avoid spin situations. Undoubtedly this absence of experience will have contributed to the mystique of the […]