Training With Sergei Boriak Part I – Enroute

So after three contests in Advanced and no real improvement it was time to get some professional training. My snap rolls have never scored well and my free program was far from working. While at the Green Mountain contest, Denny had told me that they had an open slot with Sergei Boriak down in Warrenton, VA. This is an excerpt from his bio:

Sergei was born in Kazakhstan in the former Soviet Union in May, 1955, but is now a U.S. citizen residing in Fairfax, VA. He is one of the most respected aerobatic flight coaches in the world, having trained the likes of Patty Wagstaff, Gene Soucy, Mike Goulian, Kirby Chambliss, and Matt Chapman. His accomplishments as a competition pilot rival any he has had as an instructor, having won the 1984 U.S.S.R. Aerobatic Championship. He was also the 1986 World Aerobatic Champion and the 1994 German National Champion. He moved to the U.S. in 1993, and was the coach of the U.S. Aerobatic Team from 1998-2003. He also competed on the Aerobatic Grand Prix circuit from 1996-2000. Sergei has competed and coached all over the world, and now brings his dynamic flying style and experience to the ACAP eXtreme Airshow Challenge series.

If you spend even a little time in this sport you learn who Sergei is and how good he is. I heard many of the stories and now it was time to take advantage of his expertise. I departed DXR (Danbury) for N81 (Hammonton) Friday afternoon with storm clouds all around the area. Danbury was clear but visibility was down to 3 miles over the new York area, although once through NY it was showing 6 miles over Jersey. So I launched and almost immediately I could see the front over new york. The GPS was showing heavy storm activity to the west of New York and limited activity over Long Island. So I decided to take the Long Island route which goes below the JFK class B airspace. You have to be 500 feet or below off of the coast of the island till you hit Hudson Harbor and then you can turn south and climb up to 1500 feet. So as I transitioned over the island I had a good 6 miles vis, but as I got lower and lower the visibility continued to get worse. At 400 feet I had 3 mile visibility and while the legal limit, it was still a little disconcerting at 160 MPH. At no point was I in danger because I was over the water, no mountains in the way… 🙂 and if I had to, I could have always climbed back to the 6 mile vis above me. I would have busted JFKs air space but I’d be alive to get punished. Luckily I had a good 3 miles and as I worked South the weather got back to 6 miles. I landed at Hammonton and about 15 mins later the next front was over the top and closed the airport. While I got there safely, it is not the kind of flying I want to repeat in a Pitts.
Denny is based at Hammonton, so he came out and helped me tuck the airplane away and we agreed we’d meet up early that next morning to head to Warrenton. I stayed the night with my Aunt who lives down in Mays Landing and flying into Hammonton is always a great excuse to go see her.

The next day the front had completely cleared and it was CAVU to say the least. We blasted out of N81 about 8:30. Denny had me fly lead and he was there off my left wing. The flight crosses the Delaware Bay, then across the across the Northern part of the Chesapeake Bay and South East around the DC ADIZ . We navigated our way around the restricted areas and landed in Warrenton about 10:00ish, exhilarated after a great flight.

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One Response to “Training With Sergei Boriak Part I – Enroute”

  1. Stuart Mackereth Says:

    Training with Sergei! Lucky bum.. be sure to let us know how it goes…. I trained a bit with Gena Elfimov on the Yak, and have a lot of respect for Russian trainers!!

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