Archive for Acroblast

Bill Williams Joy of Flight Award

Posted in 2009, 98R, Aerobatics with tags , , , , , , on December 23, 2009 by mars58

One of my favorite contests I have ever been to was Chapter 38’s Maytown 2007. Mostly because of all the Maytown lore, all of it I can attest is true! This was my third year participating in IAC competition, really my second because 06 was a washout, weather wise. So, chapter 38 holds a soft spot in my heart, mostly because it is the first time I placed in the top 3 but more accurately due to the VFW!! That place was great! When you order 9 shots, mostly top shelf and give the girl $20 then get $10 back!! God Bless the VFW!!! 🙂 Unfortunately Maytown’s airport no longer provides gas to fuel the airplanes so that killed any further contest. Luckly tho, the Wildwood venue opened up and provided Chapter 38 a place to hold another contest.

So I am sitting at the Wildwood Acroblast, Saturday night banquet, and I’m reflecting on the struggle I had completing the last two sequences off in my own world while Craig Wiseman, the MC from chapter 38, is handing out the awards. Craig starts talking about a gentleman from their chapter who was the inspiration behind the Bill Williams Joy of Flight award. As I sit there listening to Craig describe Bill; a great pilot, a lot of fun, always smiling, happy, funny, practical joker, ball breaker, true aviation and aerobatic enthusiast, etc. and as Craig talks about the impact Bill had on their chapter and what a great individual he was, I start thinking to myself, wow what a cool guy, my kind of people, I hope I can someday have the kind of impact on the people, friends and sport like Bill had…

Craig says, “and this years award goes to, none other than, Rob Marsicano…” I have to tell you, I was blown away. This is one of the greatest awards I have been given in my life and one I am honored to have received.

Bill Willson Joy of Flight Award

Bill Willson Joy of Flight Award


Wildwood Acroblast 2009 is in the Books

Posted in 2009, 98R, Aerobatics with tags , , , , , , on July 14, 2009 by mars58

So the long awaited aerobatic season has finally gotten underway here in the North East for us New Englanders. Unfortunately with all the recent rain and things going on I did not get a chance to practice as much as I wanted to. I decided to move to the Advanced category this year so more practice was definitely needed. I set my goals pretty low, happy to just get through the 3 sequences, and here is why.

I attended a practice session at Green Wood Lake, NJ at the end of May. I did an airshow flight and then ran the Advanced Known at the end of the day. The airshow routine felt good and flowed well. It should have I just got out of the seat with Tucker… LOL. The Advanced Known, well as a good friend of mine put it, “welcome to serious aerobatics”. And if you know Sergey with the accent, it was priceless. And he is right. For the uninitiated, in IAC competition, things have to be done technically well and tactfully well for the kind of airplane you are flying. So every little mistake is scrutinized by the judges. Every competitor starts every figure with 10 points. The judges deduct points as you make mistakes. Make enough mistakes and you can get to zero really fast. I believe it is one point off for every 5 degrees off. If you pull off or on to a line and your heading is off 5 degrees, one point; if your roll ends five degrees past where it should have, 1 point; if you hammer head torques over the top and is 5 degrees, 1 point… On and on and on.

So what this session exposed, thankfully, for me was the Half Snap from Inverted on a 45 degree up line (figure 3 09Adv Known). This is a real cool figure when you get it, kinda like rolling turns, it’s a very zen move. Good snaps in general are very Zen things. Like a great Tee shot in golf. I have never hit one, but hell I sure know when I see one. Fffffwhooop! Crack! Ting! ffffffff and you see the perfect arc of a great shot as that ball rockets away with an incredible transference of energy. That is definitely what a nice snap feels like. Especially Half Snaps on a Down Line. Every time I tried the half snap on the 45, I blew my heading by at least 30 degrees and that is not good unless you like zeros. So Sergey explained, in a snap, you are kicking rudder, which pushes the nose off heading, then with great timing you have to pull back on the stick to initiate the stall and the right combination rockets you into the snap roll. So why am I always coming off heading. Of course when you kick the nose you are inducing a change in heading, to counter act the initial rudder input, when the airplane is knife edge, you have to push put yourself back on heading, know that you have pushed, when you get to inverted you are going to be nose high so you instantly have to pull the nose down and reset the vertical 45. All very zen and momentary. Finally you have to stop the snap as if the roll hit a wall, hard, sharp and clean. This requires good, strong opposite rudder from what you initiated the snap with.

The other weakness of mine right now are my pushes. Headings and wing drags are getting better, thanks to my friend Kendal, he echoed what Holland and Tucker said, “you have to fineness a push at low speeds”. I have to go out and just do inverted slow flight next practice. That is the first thing Ron and I did, Ron loves to push and I definitely agree, everyone says pushing hurts, and they are right, but it’s a, “hurts so good” kinda thing! And if you do it well, it looks so good. So anyway I got through the sequences and as with every flight I have flown, a story follows each one in True “Rob” fashion.
As I get time I will hopefully fill in more of this.

So for my first competition in the Advanced category, I achieved my goals and got through all three sequences. I learned that flying a Pitts S2B in advanced takes a lot of skill and while I thought I had mastered enough aspects of this airplane, I have much more to learn and get through. The contest was a blast and a great challenge and I can’t wait for the Green Mountain, Springfield, VT contest in two weeks!

Check out all the Pictures at IAC 52

Advanced Competitors Zero Club

Ham shot with the ladies

Barbara Chadwick, Ann Salcedo, Rob Marsicano, Joann Ardovini, Bob Sabbatino

The One and Only Ann Salcedo

On the line for practice critique

Briefing... Anything but brief lol


Jo and I at Moreys Piers Friday Barbeque

Morey's Piers

Coaster At Morey's Piers

Receiveing the Bill Wilson Joy of Flight Award

Saturday Night at the Hotel

Ohh Boy...

Fueling Up

Climbing Out

Kendal doing the dirt dance

The Flying Floods

Check out all the Pictures at IAC 52

All photos courtesy of Laurie Zaleski

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