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Redbook Review–September

Posted by tl3
Posted on 9/16/2017

September 2017 Issue 7

I’d like to talk a little about dandelions, or crabgrass, or any other lawn weed for that matter. Anyone who has ever tried to cultivate a nice, lush, shag carpet for a yard, or a fairway like runway understands how those aforementioned weeds can be the bane of your existence. Wouldn’t it be fantastic to be able to treat them once and be rid of them for good? Well, the reality is that dealing with weeds is an ongoing and never ending process. “What does this have to do with Scale Aerobatics?” you ask. How about those pesky turn-around figures? It appears the time is nigh for another treatment.

So what exactly is a pilot permitted to do before, between, and after sequences? The short answer is: Refer to page SCA 12 of your Scale Aerobatics rulebook and read the entirety of Rule 13.1. But in case you don’t feel like dusting off and opening your rulebook, here ya go:

13.5: Prior to entering the aerobatic airspace, between sequences, and prior to landing, pilots shall only be allowed to perform the following trim and positioning maneuvers:

  • Turns.
  • Half Cubans with only a single ½ roll on the 45 down line.
  • Reverse Half Cubans with only a single ½ roll on the 45 up line:

The ½ roll is optional based on aircraft positioning required to enter the aerobatic airspace.

  • Half loops up or down (Immelmann or Split S) with only one half roll on entry or exit.
  • Single half roll to inverted immediately prior to entering the aerobatic airspace for the case in which an inverted entry to the first maneuver is required.
  • Single half roll to upright immediately after exiting the aerobatic airspace for the case in which an inverted exit from the last maneuver is required.
  • A vertical up or down line with a simple push/pull for entry and exit. A single 1/2 roll is allowed on this vertical line only if required to orient the aircraft properly for entry to the first maneuver.

Exceptions to this limitation may only be directed by the CD or line boss in the normal course of safely managing the airspace. Pilots will follow such directions and no penalty will apply.

Now that I have done due diligence in presenting the official rule verbatim, allow me to editorialize and make some observations and suggestions. Folks, this isn’t terribly complex. There is not a single starting or exiting figure that cannot be adequately resolved by the above options. We can play the “what if scenario game” all day long and it still boils down to the aforementioned choices. The rule book describes what is allowed, not what is prohibited. If we chose to list everything that is not allowed we’d never get around to actually flying. So, if it’s not on the list above, DON’T DO IT, it’s not a legal turn around figure. Of course, I’d be remiss in my duties if I did not also mention that all of these figures are to initiate from upright flight. Naturally, the (only) exception is a single half roll to upright for sequences that end inverted. “Because I was inverted,” sorry, couldn’t help myself.

A word on vocal declarations: Pilots, and callers, please don’t forget the mandatory vocal declaration to initiate the sequence. It’s getting late in the year and sometimes the finer details begin to get taken for granted, so, speak up! Oh, and on the topic of speaking up, there is no requirement to call “end of sequence” or “out of the box.” And you certainly cannot zero a sequence because a pilot did or did not announce the completion of the sequence. Judging ceases the moment the aircraft establishes a line of one fuselage length following the exit of the final figure, regardless of what the pilot, caller, or voices from the heavens say about it.

The 2017 competition season is drawing a close. We have Regional Finals / World Team qualifiers beginning very shortly. Let’s all do our part to make sure these important events are free from rules and judging gaffes. If you are uncertain about rule, procedure, or penalty application, please don’t pull something outta your keister and try to make it stick. Take the time to consult a rulebook, or speak to someone who will. You’ll garner far more respect from your peers by admitting you don’t know and then seeking the proper resolution than if you make it up on the fly, and someday the proverbial shoe will be on the other foot.


July Quick Quiz Answer:  “How are the judging criteria of Family 5 and Family 6 figures similar yet different?”

- Both must have wind corrected vertical lines.

- Both have portions of the maneuver during which the aircraft is stalled or partially stalled.

- Hammerheads (Family 5) - the aircraft must be vertical in the pitch axis during the pivot.

- Tailslides - tailslides must initiate from a vertical attitude in both the pitch and yaw axes.

- Hammerheads may pivot in either direction.

- Tailslides must be either wheels up or wheels down as indicated by the Aresti diagram.

- Hammerheads may not show any slide or backwards movement prior to the pivot.

- Tailslides must slides backwards prior to the flop.

For complete Hammerhead and Tailslide judging criteria please refer to Aresti Families 5 and 6 beginning on page SCA 38 of the 2017 - 2018 AMA Scale Aerobatics Rule book.

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