AkroFest 2019 Results

During the last week of November, 35 members of our club descended on Omaka Aerodrome for the 5th edition of the South Island Akro Fest. We have grown this event from two classes in 2015 and celebrating the 70th Anniversary of the Pitts Special, to five in 2019 including the new ‘Vintage’ Class (Wayne Edwards Memorial Trophy) which is unique to Omaka, giving the classic aeroplanes locally around NZ an opportunity to compete on equal terms (relatively speaking!). We are also using this category to celebrate the passing of a very good friend ours in the Tiger Moth community, who was tragically lost in an overseas accident in 2018.

We had 22 pilots compete in the various classes in a wide range of aircraft. It was a thoroughly enjoyable few days of flying, and the hospitality from the Marlborough Aeroclub was again very well received, especially by those who had not been to this event before. This competition also saw 6 pilots compete for the first time, all enjoyed themselves. We had a steady stream of locals stop by the Aeroclub to view the aircraft and watch the flying. 

The finale of the Event was the 4 minute Free Style, where 6 pilots contested. It was great to see Ivan Krippner back in the competition environment, having been busy running other aviation businesses and doing international airshow work (The Airshow Company). We also had a resurgence in Pitts Specials this year which looks set to continue in the years to come. It was also pleasing to see 4 pilots in the Primary class, all first time competitors. 

This year we also had for the first time, a Restricted area for our Aerobatic Box and immediate surrounding airspace. While a huge amount of work to establish, it was well worth it. The local pilots also commented on the ease of operation within the area, and it was certainly handy for our members to get real-time critiquing in the knowledge that we’re not interferring with the Operations over at Woodbourne. 

We are all looking forward to the Nationals next February. There was some hesitation to continue to run this Event yearly due to the rapid expansion we’re seeing off it but several members have put in a huge amount of effort in support of it so look out for the announcement of the 2020 Event. 

Omaka is a great location for Competition flying or just for a weekend getaway. I must thank the Marlborough Aeroclub for being such incredible hosts, particularly Marty, Raylene, John and Pip. Along with all of our members who supported the event so enthusiastically. 

Fully official scores and results available here.

See you at the Nationals!

Andy Love

Vice President

NZ Aerobatics Club

NZAC Rules Update

NZAC Rules Update

The latest iteration of the NZAC Competition rules are now available on the website. You can also access them here or the button below.

Web Forum Deactivated

The web forum on the website has been deactivated. A massive incursion of Russian spam bots infiltrated the system, despite various geoblocking and anti-spam measures. The forum wasn't getting much use from the members, but if you found it helpful, let me know and alternatives may be considered in future.

Entry Forms for 2020 NZAC Nationals

It's that time of year again that we look towards our National Championships in February 2020, the 26th Feb - 1st March to be exact!  Not only do we have the Nationals coming up but AkroFest is the first contest of the season next month at Omaka, so it's definitely time to start some serious practice (aircraft serviceability permitting!) and get your AkroFest entry form in to Andy ASAP.


Here are some important dates for you to diary...

Nationals Entries are open NOW via electronic entry form here. Note that you must be a paid up member of the NZAC to enter.

All deadlines are 5 pm on the deadline date.

Entry Deadline: Friday 10th January 2020

Free & Free Known Sequence submission close: Friday 10th January 2020

Late entries might be accepted up until Friday 31st January 2020 but only at the whim of the Contest Director - bribes will be accepted in gold bullion, Bitcoin and bottomless top shelf Gin with artisanal Tonic.

To "encourage" compliance with the above deadline dates, Entry Penalties will be incurred by those that miss the deadlines as follows:
Late Penalty: 100 points plus 10 points per day after the deadline expiry.
Late entry penalties will be incurred on the Known flight.  Late Free or Free Known penalties will be incurred on the Free or Free Known flight.

Entry received 6pm Friday 10th January 2019 will incur 100pt + (1 day x 10pt) = 110pt penalty applied to the Known flight.
Entry received 3pm Monday 13th January 2019 will incur 100pt + (3 days x 10pt) = 130pt penalty applied to the Known flight.
Free Known received 8pm Friday 17th January will incur 100pt + (8 days x 10pt) = 180pt penalty applied to the Free Known flight.

Remember, it is far preferable for you to enter and withdraw (with a full refund of entry fee) at a later date than to leave your entry to the last minute... the printing of sequences and scoring sheets is no small task.

Sequences to be flown in the 2019 event are available on the website www.aerobatics.nz ) under "Sequences" or within OpenAero under "Library".  All Free and FreeKnown sequences must be submitted to the Contest Director in OpenAero format.  Please ensure you've checked your sequences against the NZAC rules in OpenAero prior to submitting them. 

Your Free and Free Unknown sequences should be uploaded during the entry process. You are able to go back to your form and change and/or upload additional files after it is submitted originally. This is a new work process, so let me know if you encounter any difficulties.

It's never too early to send copies of pilot and aircraft documentation (BFR, Aerobatic Bi-Annual, LLDA, Medical, Insurance) to the Contest Director - again this preferable rather than chasing this after the opening briefing at Masterton!

If there are any questions regarding entries, documentation requirements, sequences... or any questions at all, please don't hesitate to contact Mel McMinn on 022 650 7939 or email me at mcminn@gmail.com

OpenAero Training, Akro Fest Vintage Class

OpenAero Training

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!

South Island Akro Fest Vintage Class

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.

Unknown Sequence Clarification

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.

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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