2010 Jersey Skylands Aerobatic Championship

I am circling in the holding area about two miles north of the airport at 3500 feet, waiting for my call from the chief judge.

“Rob, chief judge, how do you read?”

“Loud and clear chief”, I reply.

“OK Rob, have a great flight”

“Rgr chief, thank you”.

I roll and push into a diving 90 degree turn setting up my line into the box. The sequence starts with a 2 of 2 roll from upright to upright, followed by a half snap to inverted and then a 3/4 down loop, to an inverted climbing 45 degree line. Cap it off inverted.

Figure 1

I dive to 220 miles an hour, pull strait and level then pull to a 45 degree up line to trade that energy and speed for altitude.  I don’t want to be too fast and put too much G on the airplane in the snap or as I pull into the earth for the down loop.   The 45 degree up line allows me to lose just enough speed and set myself up perfectly.

I level off after my 45 degree up line, everything is perfect. I do half roll to inverted, pause then do a half roll to upright again. Then I pull back abruptly and enough to get the wings to buffet, kick the rudder and snap the plane around a half turn to inverted.

Whap! The plane flips on its canopy. I kick opposite rudder and it stops, crisply, wings level, upside down. There I am hanging in my straps. I check my altitude and air speed. When pulling into the earth, you want a lot of one and little of the other.

Everything looks good and I pull gently to start the downward loop. As 98R starts accelerating down the back side of the loop, I am pushed into my seat at 4 times my weight. Through the bottom I am Pulling hard now, increasing in speed and G load.

Then into the 3rd quarter of the loop. Back up again, she slows down and everything gets light and I am again hanging from my straps as the load lightens I am back on my back setting a 45 degree inverted line. I cap off inverted, pause for a second then start figure two.

Figure 2 2010 Known

Figure two is a 1 1/2 inverted spin, followed by a potentially high G pull to 45 degree up line, a two of four point roll centered on the 45, then a pull to a vertical down line, then pull wings level.

After figure one, I am slow and hanging upside down. I pull the throttle back and slowly push the stick forward to the stops, wait for the buffet and then kick left rudder.

98R goes into an inverted spin. I wait for about 1 1/4 rotation, kick the opposite rudder and stop perfectly at 1 1/2 rotations. I set a nice down line, wait as I am building speed for the next up line, then pull.

I’m not completely sure what happened or why, but I guess I pulled back to almost vertical and blew the figure. Now momentarily lost in the box, I realize I am going the wrong way to start figure 3. Pissed off at myself, knowing I just screwed this run, instead of taking a break and re-starting in the right direction for figure three, I figured, screw it and just powered on knowing I could correct the direction with figure 4 since it is a “y” axis maneuver. Two zeros in the first 3 figures… Not a good run. It was a small conciliation, but my first figure was all 9s and even a 10 lol.

With the first run in the bag, it’s only up from here and the season is under way. They announce the unknown flight will be flown in the morning and hand out sequence as we are settling down for the end of day beers. Oh what they have in store for the unknown… 🙂 (to be con’t)


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