Need an introduction to OpenAero to learn how to design an aerobatic sequence or just want to brush up on your sequence building skills? You can get the information you need in this article written by Grant Benns for Kiwi Flyer. Thanks Grant!
The Vintage Class sequence for Akro Fest is now available here. November will be here before you know it, so grab your vintage plane and get practicing.
For the Nationals, Recreational Unknowns are optional and not marked (to relieve any pressure the newbie pilot may feel), and Sports Unknowns are marked but are not included in Sports Overall results. Unknowns are marked and included in Intermediate to Unlimited categories.
The competition sequences for our 2020 season have now been finalized.
For those members new (and not so new) wishing to partake in various upcoming NZAC events, below is a summary of ‘Programs’ of competition, and how they relate to the published sequences. More detailed information is available in the NZAC rules, which can be found on the NZAC website.
Note – not every aerobatic event/competition will include all the programs listed below, so check the event notification as to which programs and sequences will be flown.
Program 1 – ‘The Known Compulsory Program’
Every competitor in a particular category will fly the same Known Compulsory sequence, and with ample practice given the early availability of the sequences!
Sequences for the Known Compulsory Program can be seen and downloaded from two sources:
NZAC website – Aerobatics.nz then choose the appropriate sequences for your category under the Sequences drop down
OpenAero – www.openaero.net (Library / 2020 / NZAC). Note – OpenAero works best using the Google Chrome browser.
Sequences for Primary and Recreational do not change from year-to-year.
For Sports to Unlimited we adopt the International Aerobatic Club sequences from the previous season.
Program 2 – ‘The Free Program’
Sequences have different requirements depending on which category you are competing in – read this carefully!
OpenAero is the place to design your sequence, as the ‘rules’ for each category are built-in, meaning only the prescribed/allowable figures are available for the category you choose to fly. Pushing the ‘check sequence’ button under the Sequnce drop-down menu is confirmation of compliance with the category rules.
More info on Open Aero is available from our website under Articles.
The beauty of the Free Program is that YOU can design the sequence (except in Primary) to suit your plane and your style of flying. And you can practice it to perfection too!
Program 3 – Unknowns
Only Recreational and above will be required to fly this program.
These top-secret sequences will be provided by the Contest Director at the competition, and cannot be practiced prior to flying.
Program 4 – Free Unknowns
Intermediate to Unlimited only
This program uses a CIVA-based set of rules that allows competitors the freedom to submit, at the competition, 10 base figures that are used to produce an Unknown sequence. Upon agreement of the base figures, competitors then ‘freely’ design a sequence that incorporates all of the selected figures, in a flow that suits them and/or their aircraft. Maybe.
This sequence also cannot be practiced. Great fun!
Program 5 – 4-minute Free
This is a true ‘freestyle’ program, available only to Advanced, Unlimited or invited pilots to display their skill, flair and art in an airshow-type display that must last 4 minutes, plus or minus nothing..
The 2019 edition of the New Zealand Aerobatic Club’s National Aerobatics Championships is done and dusted. Whilst the field was decimated somewhat by aircraft serviceability, etc., 15 entrants across 4 categories competed in the skies above Hood Aerodrome in Masterton last week.
Competitors, judges, and supporters travelled from near (Wellington) and far (Dubai) to compete in the NZ Aerobatic Club’s annual National Aerobatic Championships and whilst the competition officially started on Wednesday 27th Feb many arrived early for two other huge events… the Wings Over Wairarapa Airshow and our President Des’
Poor weather (strong wind and rain showers) meant no-one was keen for any unofficial practice on Monday, Tuesday also was reserved mainly for setup – checking box markers and laying out the marker material – searing hot
Wednesday dawned a bit cloudy but the main challenge for the first day of competition proved to be the building wind - 30-40kts at 2000ft blowing competitors away from the judges. The morning included practice flights for those in attendance with the competition proper kicking off in the afternoon. Grant's first competition flight in Advanced appeared to include an inverted cross country to reposition back in sight of the judging line! Only Intermediate and Advanced Known flights were completed by the voluntary curfew of 6pm.
Thursday morning had a slightly delayed start due to weather but improved as the day progressed - at least the wind was a little move manageable. Known flights were completed for Sports and Recreational whilst the Intermediate and Advanced competitors attacked their Free Known sequences. Unfortunately Fred's beautiful wee Laser had had enough of his rolling circle and suffered a wee (!) oil leak that necessitated an expeditious return to the ground. I can't recall the last time we had a serious mechanical event at the Nationals in the past 17 or 18 years! Luckily we had the services of Wairarapa Aeroclub's barman Mark (who moonlights as a LAME) assisted by Morris (also mechanically qualified) who had the prop off and the repair underway without delay. Thursday night saw the Aeroclub provide a BBQ dinner before the NZAC AGM. Both Des and Mike had signalled their intention to step down as President and Contest Director respectively, which they did, but Mike didn't get away scott free as he was duly elected President! Minutes to follow.
Friday... a big day! 7am briefing with the intention of completing the formal competition. Many scheduling "challenges" today as Trish ferried Fred across to Feilding to grab parts for the ailing Laser, and then fitting the Laser test flights into the flying programme. Added to that was the ever present shared aircraft that require the Contest director to attempt to space them throughout the Order of Flight. Grant had jumped ship from the Laser to the Zlin (David had kindly allowed Mike to fly ZK-ZSO dut to NUT's ongoing "issues") and David's other aircraft was also being flown by himself, Ian and Grant. Regardless, all (barring Fred's) remaining flights Unknown and Free Unknown flights were completed just leaving the 4 Minute Free flights to be flown on Saturday.
Yet again, Saturday dawned with less than perfect conditions (CLD SCT023 BKN030 -SHRA) which combined with sequence card issues put paid to Fred's catchup flights but it improved to allow Murray Rogers (CT4), Des Barry (RV7), Morris Tull (Pitts S1), and Steve Geard (Yak 55m) to wow us with their smoke and noise. Prizegiving that night was a finished off the event well (results are published elsewhere).
There are many thank you that should follow such an event (and I'm bound to forget some - apologies!). Thanks:- first to the Wairarapa Aeroclub and Hood Aerodrome for providing the location and facilities that allow us to endulge our past-time; to Des and Andrew for their assistance in organising the event and for MC'ing the prizegiving; to the Ray and his judges (Martyn, Russell, Terry, Pam), scribes and spotters particularly Darryl (another victim of aircraft serviceability)... thanks for enduring cold, wind, sun, heat, ham-fisted flying; to our starters Ian and Cathy, thanks for the "big brother is watching" experience, getting us in our aircraft and into the air efficiently; thanks to Mel for her assistance to the Contest Director this event AND for stepping up to take on the whole role next year; to both Kelly and Simone who kept us fed and watered; and finally to the competitors and attendees who made this event so enjoyable. THANK YOU ALL!
PS. I must make a personal special thank you to David Cranna for allowing me to fly the Zlin - I know only too well how frustrating it is to attend the Nationals without an aircraft to fly!
For those members new (and not so new) wishing to partake in upcoming NZAC events, this serves as a reminder of the sequences to be flown in the various programs of our aerobatic competitions, in accordance with the NZAC rules (which can be found on the NZAC website). Note - not every event will include all the programs, so check the event notification/info as to which programs and sequences will be flown.
Program 1 - ‘The Known Compulsory Program’ - sequences for Primary and Recreational do not change from year-to-year, however for Sports to Unlimited we adopt the International Aerobatic Club sequences from the previous season. Everybody in a particular category will fly the same Known Compulsory sequence, and hopefully with ample practice given the early availability of the sequences! They may be downloaded, now, from two sources:
NZAC website - Aerobatics.nz then choose the appropriate sequences for your category under the Sequences drop down
OpenAero - www.openaero.net (Library / 2019 / NZAC). Note - OpenAero works best with the Google Chrome browser.
Program 2 - ‘The Free Program’ - sequences follow a different pattern between the categories. Primary competitors MUST fly the Program 1 Known Compulsory sequence again. Recreational and Sports competitors have the option of EITHER flying the Program 1 sequence again OR creating their own sequence in accordance with the NZAC rules. Intermediate to Unlimited competitors MUST create their own sequences, using the CIVA rules and prescribed Free figures from 2018.
OpenAero is the place to design your sequence, as the ‘rules’ for each category are built-in, meaning only the prescribed/allowable figures are available for the category you choose to fly, and pushing the ‘check sequence’ button upon completion will confirm compliance with the rules. The beauty of the Free Program is that YOU can design the sequence to suit your plane and your style of flying. And you can practice it to perfection too!
Program 3 are the Unknowns - sequences provided by the Contest Director at the competition which cannot be practiced.
Program 4 are the Free Unknowns, a CIVA-based set of rules that allow Intermediate to Unlimited pilots the freedom to submit, at a competition, figures that can be combined to produce an Unknown sequence with some latitude for variation to suit the plane or pilot, albeit another sequence that cannot be practiced. Great fun!
Finally, the 4-minute Free is a true freestyle program, available only to Advanced, Unlimited or invited pilots to display their skill, flair and art in an airshow-type display.
winner – Murray McCallister – C150 – North Island
winner – Alex Philpott – 2160a – South Island
winner – Murray Rogers – CT4B – North Island
winner – Andrew Love – Pitts S1S – South Island
winner – Morris Tull – Pitts S1S – South Island
winner – Russell Bell – G-200 – North Island
Russell Bell – North Island
Murray McCallister – North Island
Fred Zayas – Laser 200 – South Island
Grant Benns – Laser 200 – North Island
Unknown overall (highest average)
Fred Zayas – Laser 200 -South Island
winner – Ross Brodie – Air Tourer – South Island
Most helpful person
Mark Wilson – Wairarapa Aeroclub
Chris Shadler – RV3 – North Island
4minute Free Style
winner – Andrew Love – Pitts S1
North VS South Challenge Trophy
winner – North Island
More to follow with photos and a full report. Unfortunately absentees from our prize giving due to commitments around the country were:
Trish Stephens – RV6a – North Island
Ross Mcainch – RV6a – North Island
Grant Benns – Laser 200 – North Island
David Crana – RV7 – North Island
Mike Slack – Contest Director
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Are you intending to compete at the 2018 NZAC Aerobatic Nationals next month in Masterton?
Are you competing in Intermediate category or higher?
Are you yet to submit your Free Known sequences to the Contest Director?
If the answers to any of the above questions are YES then you need to get cracking and put finger to keyboard (or pen to paper for any technologically challenged participants)!
So far, entries are pretty light in all categories, and I’ve only received a few Free Known sequences (the deadline for these to be submitted has past!).
If you have submitted either entries or other documentation then please check HERE to ensure that it has been received. If any of your documents are missing then please send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.