2020 Season Sequences

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!

  • 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 figures prescribed in Open Aero/Library/2019/CIVA Free Known (applicable category). 

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..

2019 Aerobatic Nationals

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’ marrage to Simone in Carterton. Whilst poor weather (again!) forced the cancellation of the airshow on Sunday, the wedding went off without a hitch on Saturday evening – congratulations Mr & Mrs Barry!

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!

Mike Slack 

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!

2019 Season Sequences

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.



Masterton Trophies 2018

2018 NZ National Aerobatics Championships – Results

Winners are grinners!

For full results CLICK HERE

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

Most Improved
Russell Bell – North Island

Best newcomer
Murray McCallister – North Island

Sportsman Unknown
Fred Zayas – Laser 200 – South Island

Intermediate Unknown
Grant Benns – Laser 200 – North Island

Unknown overall (highest average)
Fred Zayas – Laser 200 -South Island

Recreational Unknown
winner – Ross Brodie – Air Tourer – South Island

Most helpful person
Mark Wilson – Wairarapa Aeroclub

Grey wings
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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Tasks to complete for 2018 Nationals

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 contestdirector@aerobatics.co.nz.

Entry Form for 2018 Nationals

Entry form for the Nationals in Masterton can be downloaded NZAC EntryForm

Entries close on 2nd Feb 2018 (disregard the date on the form).

Free Known sequences must be submitted to the Contest Director no later than Friday 19th January.

Subs are due

Subs for 2018 are now due. Please use the form below when submitting your subscription if you haven’t already done so.

Subs Form 2018

South Island AkroFest 2017

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.

Andrew Love

Vice President, NZ Aerobatic Club


Recreational Overall (Omaka Cup)

1st Jerry Chisum – RV3    2nd Austin Jones – 2160  3rd Alex Philpot – 2160                            

Recreational Unknown

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