Monday, 29 May 2017

Aerobatic Contest

On Saturday I competed in my first aerobatic competition.

I said many months ago I expected to finish last.

As it turns out I finished 8th from 14 who competed in the final judged sequence.

The conditions were challenging to say the least with a 30 knot crosswind straight across the display axis. Actually the judges were just being lazy as by all rights they should have moved to another position which was 90 degrees to the wind. This also made for some challenging conditions to land in with many people making go arounds and second attempts - myself included as the wind changed on my approach and I now had a tailwind component as well as the 30 knots of crosswind. I saw I was going to run out of runway and decided to go around and land in the other direction.

Another thing that was a curve ball was the sequence itself - which they had published in February when I first signed up for the comp and in the meantime they had changed to a different sequence - without telling anyone who had already signed up! So on the morning of the competition I had to delete two manoeuvres and add a brand new one to my sequence I had been practising for the last few months! The new manoeuvre was a Chandelle which I had never flown in the Twister before so had to learn that in the 10 mins practise I had in the morning before my first sequence flight in the box.

As you can see from the scores below I scored much higher in the morning sequence (not counted for points unfortunately) but was marked much more harshly by one of the judges in the afternoon (there were only 2 judges) despite me thinking that I actually flew better in the afternoon. 

I've just found out that I scored 1st from all those who flew in the morning sequence so that is some consolation. What a shame that did not count towards the final judged sequence points!

Anyway even in the afternoon sequence I beat 4 Extra 200's so that says something.

A quote from the BAeA website who did a write up on the event said:

"Although not really a contest, the leader in the scores after the first round was Andy McKee flying a lovely Silence Twister. Not a common aeroplane at our events but it was flown very well and presented beautifully. Lovely slow, crisp, deliberate aerobatics." 

All in all an excellent experience. I have not been put off and will enter another one - perhaps next year.

Chris Burkett was there in the afternoon and gave me some excellent advice and pointers - thanks Chris!

A cold front passed over with lightning, thunder and a rain shower before we got underway for the first practise sequence.

Weather had brightened up by the afternoon. The pilot in the red Pitts was the eventual winner.

Organisers Dave Farley and Nick Buckenham on the left with the 1st to 3rd placed competitors on the right.

My scores from the first practise sequence which turned out to be the best score from all the mornings entries - of which they were 15. One dropped out in the afternoon.

And the scores from the final Judged afternoon sequence. At least my positioning was better.
Final results.

No comments:

Post a Comment