The Best Aerobatic Display

I've watched very many memorable aerobatic displays over the years. As a kid I used to go to the RAAF Laverton displays; only much later did I meet the pilot of many of the displays I'd been watching and had an opportunity to work with Gil. Then there was Aub, who taught me aerobatics, and his displays in the Cessna Aerobat. A year in the UK in the '70s gave me the opportunity to see the Rothmans Team plus Barry and Neil. Then living in the USA (pilots' paradise) there was Greg, Patty, Sean and Bob. At local displays: Chris and Pip. Back in the eighties there was the Philips World Aerobatic Challenge with Geoff, Frank, Kermit and Eric. Can't forget Xavier or Yurgis. Who have I forgotten?

I won't venture into any judgement on their relative abilities. All memorable displays.

Not taking anything away from the skills that these people have demonstrated but last March, at Redcliffe in Queensland, I saw a display and just had to comment to the pilot afterwards that it was the best aerobatic display that I had ever seen. Let's consider it against the competition criteria for the Unlimited Four Minute Freestyle Programme.

Technical Merit (160K)

“Use of Many Different Areas of the Flight Envelope – 40K”
Yep, full marks.

“Exploitation of Aerodynamic Controls and Gyroscopic Forces – 40K”
Nil gyroscopic manoeuvres but then again people used to say that to do a nice lomcevak all you need is a Pitts and a heavy hand. I wouldn't take many points off for that consideration.

“The Clarity of the Execution of Individual Manoeuvre Elements – 40K”
Yep, full marks.

“The Combination of Manoeuvre Elements in a Wide Variety of Figures Flown on Different Axis and Flightpaths – 40K”
Slight downgrade as one manoeuvre was a cloverleaf with the associated repetition – however that earned more points below.

Artistic Impression (160K)

“The Pleasing and Continuous Flow of Figures – 40K”
Full marks.

Contrasting Periods of Dynamic and Graceful Manoeuvres – 40K
Full marks.

Presenting Individual Figures in Their Best Orientation – 40K
Full marks.

Placing Individual Figures in Their Optimum Position – 40K
Full marks.

Positioning (80K)

Symmetry – 40K

The Performance Zone – 40K
Just perfect.

All of those I mentioned above would score very high against this criteria but this flight I saw recently stands out. Just plain first class.

Bob Tait in a 7GCAA Citabria.


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