Manoeuvers and Figures – Flying and Judging

Manoeuvers and figures are the basic aerobatic building blocks from which more complex sequences are constructed, to be flown by pilots in training and competition.

Russell Sneyd – Club Captain

Competition aerobatics is not simple.  Consistently achieving high scores and progressing to increasingly difficult sequences requires dedication, knowledge and continual practise.  In this series of articles, I explain what is required for each manoeuver and how it is to be judged.

Free Known and Free Sequence Rules

For Entry and Graduate you are given a Known Sequence by the AAC that will be flown for the year at most state comps and the National Championships, so practice makes perfect.
For Sportsman you have the opportunity to fly a free in Program 2.
For Yak 52/Intermediate, Advanced and Unlimited your free is part of Program 1 and is called the Free Known.

Flying and Judging the Aileron Roll and Hesitation Roll Manoeuvers

The Aileron (or Slow) Roll and the Hesitation Roll are complex co-ordinated exercises requiring continuously variable aileron, elevator and rudder control inputs.  These rolls are not actual figures but are manoeuvres which require another manoeuvre, such as straight line, to make them a figure and judgeable.

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Free Unknowns and Unknowns Sequence Rules

For the month of April, we will finish off sequence designing by looking at the Free Unknowns and Unknowns. The rules look at the FAI/CIVA rules for Yak 52/Intermediate, Advanced and Unlimited Free Unknowns Programs 2, 3 & 4 and the Unknowns for Sportsman and Graduates.

Also there are the Appendixes for FAI/CIVA figures that are allowed for the Free Unknowns and the AAC Sportsman Unknown figures. So technically the figures are not unknown it is the sequence that they will be flown and which figures that is the unknown factor.

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Safety Figures / Manoeuvers Before Flying The Sequence

Before beginning any sequence, pilots are allowed to do safety figures / manoeuvres The rules state that these manoeuvers are not compulsory or mandatory but highly recommended. Along with the safety side of making sure everything is correct with the aircraft and pilot before commencing your sequence, it also gives you a chance to feel and see the effects of the wind to help you position the start of your sequence so as to remain in the box.

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Flying and Judging the Loop Manoeuver

The Loop is an important element in competition aerobatics as it is a fundamental part of many other figures of the Aresti catalogue.
The aim is to fly a loop that looks perfectly round to a ground observer.

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Flying and Judging the Stall Turn / Hammerhead Manoeuver

The Stall Turn / Hammerhead is another important manoeuver in aerobatics, firstly because it is a compulsory manoeuver for the Free Knowns or Frees, but also because at a higher level in the free knowns it is a good reversing figure or cross box figure.

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Australian Aerobatic Club - Queensland Chapter

Australian Aerobatic Club
Queensland Chapter