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.
During the third week of November, aerobatic pilots around the country descended on Omaka Aerodrome to compete at the 3rd edition of the South Island Akro Fest. The NZ Aerobatic Club runs a National Championship at Hood Aerodrome, Masterton, during February. So establishing a South Island based competition during the spring, seemed like the logical way to go.here...
We were hosted by the enthusiastic team at the Marlborough Aeroclub at their clubrooms and hired the Aeroclub Flat as base of ops for the week as well as accommodation for a group of us. The competition was run down by the Aviation Heritage Centre, with the aircraft parked along the fence line right outside the museum. It was a bit of extra activity for visitors of the museum to view and with the sun on everyone’s backs for viewing the competition flying, there really isn’t a better place to run this competition.
We had a large contingent again from the Canterbury Aero Club this year, lead by experienced B Cat, Richard Collett. The results speak for themselves but the tradition of our club Aerobatic trainer, ZK-RBN being flown by capable young pilots has continued both at the Akro Fest, and at the Flying NZ Alpine Rally, recently held at Motueka.
From further north, we had a number of pilots from Auckland, North Shore and Tauranga. A smattering of RVs, Pitts, Robin, Tiger Moth, One Design and a Yak 52 among others. My aim with establishing this event, was to encourage more grassroots aerobatic competition and we have begun to succeed in this area with a dozen pilots in these two classes. We had also initially fielded a large contingent in the intermediate category but this was whittled down from 6 to 2, due to aircraft serviceability, it was left to myself and Mo to compete in his beautifully presented Pitts, ZK-FRJ, which he completed a ground-up restoration of in 2010.
We rounded off a busy practice day as everyone grabbed as much time in the ‘box’ as they could, with dinner in town. The Aero Club put on a BBQ and some cold drinks following the first day of competition on Thursday. Following the last day of competition on Friday, we were catered by Roast on the Run and it was a great meal, would highly recommend this company to anyone. By the time prize giving began in the evening, we were all pretty parched and exhausted after a busy week of flying our own signatures in the sky in a very competitive competition that, will help to promote our Nationals Competition to be held in February.
Standouts during the competition were the way Steve Geard went from his standard mount, a Yak 55M, to a Yak 52, a type which he hadn’t ever competed in and did so with the usual exuberance and theatre that only he can deliver in a Yak. Grant Benns, our club president, was as consistant as usual in the aeroplane at his disposal, in this case David Cranna’s RV7, which David also competed in, when he could get Grant out of it. Ryan Southam was incredibly steady with his scores in Simon and Roger’s beautiful One Design, Intermediate category at the Nationals Ryan?
Jerry Chisum returned this year to give Recreational another crack and did so with much success. It must be time to compete at Sportsman level in February, Jerry? Then we have Wayne Tantrum, flying his Citabria and Wayne Edwards in his Tiger Moth ZK-BEC, were first time competitors, and from the beginning of the week, when critiquing kicked off, to the end of the event, one simply wouldn’t have recognised them as being the same pilot such was the improvement of the sequences they were flying. In fact picking best new comer was nearly impossible, this year.
Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, and that, is the essence of any event which involves the NZ Aerobatic Club. We have a wide variety in members, competitors and aircraft, all with the same thing in common, their obsession with tipping aircraft upside down for fun.
A huge thanks to Raylene, Marty, John and everyone at the Marlborough Aero Club, for being such incredibly good hosts and allowing us to enjoy your airfield again this year. No other place quite like it. Also a big thank you to Graham and Jane Orphan for being supportive of the event and allowing us to more or less take over their flight operations area outside the museum for the duration of the event.
Next one the calendar, the National Championships, at Hood Aerodrome, Masterton. February 21st-24th 2018.
Vice President, NZ Aerobatic Club
Recreational Overall (Omaka Cup)
1st Jerry Chisum – RV3 2nd Austin Jones – 2160 3rd Alex Philpot – 2160
1st Jerry Chisum – RV3 2nd Wayne Edwards – Tiger Moth 3rd Alex Philpot
Sportsman Overall (Marlborough Aero Club Cup)
1st Ryan Southam – DR107 2nd Grant Benns – RV7 3rd Richard Collett – 2160
Intermediate Overall (Pam Collings Trophy)
1st Morris Tull – Pitts S1S 2nd Andrew Love – Pitts S1S
160hp Challenge (Recreational class only)
1st Austin Jones – 2160 2nd Alex Philpot - 2160 3rd Jason Smith - 2160
Best New Comer Wayne Edwards – Tiger Moth
Most Improved Pilot Jason Smith – 2160
Paul Marshall Award Cathleen Heslan (most helpful person)
Rangitata Island Trophy (Highest scoring biplane)
Morris Tull – Pitts S1S
Alas, all efforts to resurrect our old website have failed - Mike has given up, admitting defeat to some low-life scum who keeps repeatedly attaching the site. Why? Hardly for commercial gain or world domination.
So, Terry and Mel (mainly Mel!) have taken up the task of creating a new web presence for us. You'll still be taken to the website if you go to aerobatics.co.nz, but you may notice the URL at the top is currently www.aerobatics.tillee.com.
Big thanks to Mike Slack for managing our old website over the years, and to Mel and Terry for stepping up to generate and keep going the new one. With better security, we hope.
Keith Trillo's old Pitts S1, ZK-EEU, continues to make steady progress towards completion, whenever Ryan Southam and Andy Love can get to it, at Omaka.
Richard Hoods' long-term/new-build Pits S1-SS(SSSSS!) is also progressing towards completion. I wonder who will win the Pitts completion race - Ryan and Andy, or Richard?!
David Wilkinson will probably beat them both, and have a faster plan too, with his DR107 One-Design. I have watched these planes at the OZ Nationals do stuff you shouldn't be able to do with four cylinders and a little wing...amazing.
Pretty amazing progress, considering he just started this last Tuesday! (Actually, about two years ago - but it is plans built, unlike his RV8, which took not much more than a year to build)
Like the movie 'Three Weddings and a Funeral', the last isn't great news, for The Great Stunt Company...again.
ZK-NUT had an altercation with a hangar door, the latter winning as they always do.
August is the half-way point between each Nationals. Plans are underway for the 2018 event, minus the fog!
More info to come, but check out our website to see the sequences you need to start practicing NOW! They are also on OpenAero under Library/2018/NZAC.
Also, consider booking accommodation - the dates are 21-24 of February, but maybe come a couple of days early and plan on heading home on Sunday 25th. It can be a busy time of the year in the Wairarapa, with weddings in particular a big drain on accommodation.
Andy has another great event planned for this year - very central (great for Russell, or anybody with a plane at Omaka!) and an awesome airfield. The box is cool too, if you can stay in it, and gives the spectators a great view of your prowess.
Turn up to avoid getting the dipstick...
Expect more info in your inbox, follow the Facebook page or contact Andy at email@example.com
All LLDAs (low-level display authorisations) expire at the end of August, so get your paperwork in to Dave Brown early to avoid disappointment. If you have got one, you know the routine. If you haven't and need one, ask me for more info at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our website is as good as WE make it. If you have interesting, relevant and/or cool pictures/movies/links/whatever that is remotely connected to aerobatics, send it to Mel (email@example.com) so she can find somewhere to list it. I have got Kiwi Flyer editor Michael Norton to provide us with the aerobatic articles I have been writing for his magazine - I hope you enjoy them.
That's all for now - fly safe,
The NZ Aerobatic club has once again coagulated around the Masterton airfield and abused the structural integrity and aesthetic sensibilities of man and machine for the third time, shattering the previous record of two times at this venue. It was a collation of the usual suspects and by the narrowest of margins included a very recently returned to service ZK-NUT.
NUT was sporting a new lid and some fresh paint and accompanied by a good number of its supporting minions. The aerobatic club has a large number of pilots sharing this aircraft (including 4 in just intermediate, making up more than half the category) and before NUT they similarly shared ZK-MAD. It’s terrific having this machine back on line because the more challenging categories especially have been slim pickings for several years, with ‘intermediate’ a bit thin and ‘advanced’ not competed at all last year. Hopefully the new Warbirds Yak 52 will encourage a similar group to coalesce and participate next time. Under CIVA rules there is even a Yak 52 category (same complexity as intermediate) that can be flown as a single design comp that is your metaphorical level playing field. It would be beyond awesome to have to add an extra trophy to the lineup and we know you Yak guys are lurking out there.
The biggest surprise this year was that the contest director, Mike Slack, actually appeared. Previous years have seen him do all the prep and then be railroaded by work, forcing the glamorous job to fall on my shoulders. But not this time. Someone in Airways clearly did not get a memo and at the next performance review a frowny emoji is almost certain to appear. They take breeches like this seriously. Mike seemed oblivious to the fate of this nameless bureaucrat and instead concentrated on partying like it was 1999 (i.e. 18 years ago).
Weather-wise the week started out with the remnants of the system that obliterated the airshow of the preceding weekend hanging about and making Monday arrival more interesting than ideal. It would seem that losing a three day event in February is a pretty long-odds bet, but lose it they did. A huge shame for all those who worked hard to make it happen only to sit in the rain while the clock ran out. Then by Monday afternoon everything was back to flyable conditions.
Tuesday was hot and clear and super sticky. When you close the canopy in most aircraft you create a sauna, but often you have effective venting or even A/C to help make it tolerable. Aerobatic pilots are staunch apparently and need no such luxuries. Fortunately the time on the ground is brief and the aero club pool was divinely refreshing.
Wednesday was the first competition day and was similarly warm and fine. We quickly got the first flights all done and then with heaps of time in hand called it a day and retired to the pool. What could possibly go wrong?
Thursday dawned with a very low solid overcast that sometimes turned to drizzle. It cleared to provide a fine day … at about 6:15pm. Never mind, 7am briefing then first flight Friday at 8am. Heaps of time left.
Friday there was not a breath of wind as we struggled out to the club. What there was though was fog. Lots of fog that was just not moving. At 7am I know how it feels, but by 10am there was some movement and the fog departed. We had sun on the ground and blue skies above the clubrooms. The problem was the fog had not gone far and the box itself remained fogbound until yet another hour had passed. Now we were up against the clock. Saturday was an issue because many had Ohakea plans, so we applied shoulder to grindstone, pedal to metal and the lotion to its skin (so it wouldn’t get the hose again). Remarkably it did come together except for one dropped flight program from intermediate. At this stage we could award trophies so we retired to the pool once more and passed out the silverware and thanked people and stuff like that.
Warbirds members dominated the virtual podium, with Dave Cranna and Grant Benns first and second in Intermediate, myself first in Sports and Des Barry leading Recreational. Russell Bell convincingly stormed into first place in Advanced with Morris Tull in second. It’s been a fantastic week of fun flying; awesome venue, great people and excellent food – why weren’t you there?