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acro training

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just a member, not senior
Nov 26, 2001
I have been eyeballing some acro flyers at the local airport and would like to get some acro training next year if funds permit. Origianlly I wanted to do it for good situational awareness and unusual attitude training to the max. Just curious if any of you airline pilots (civilian) have done this to help you with the same issues. There are a few outfits here in North Texas that market acro training for this purpose, but wonder if that's really what they are teaching or if they are simply teaching acro moves for competiton level acro. I'm guessing a little of both. Anyone have any thoughts on acro training for these purposes or related info?

Also, to hold me over till I can actually do it, are there any good books on acro flying and techniques?
There are lots of good books, but you can start with anything by Duane or Marion Cole, and go from there.

When you begin to learn aerobatics, there isn't a distinction between learning "situational awarness" aerobatics, and "competition" aerobatics. You learn to maneuver the airplane using the potential in all three dimensions. In so doing, your awareness will naturally increase.

You need to understand that such tolerance and awareness is perishable, just as much as instrument skills are perishable. You certainly won't lose by getting some aerobatic training. It is adicting, it's fun, and you'll get a lot out of it if you have a good instructor. However, don't expect to get ten or twenty hours to tide you over for your career. To really be of use, you need to exersize those skills on an on-going basis. Keep flying, keep doing aerobatics. Those who do this regularly often find that preparing for and participating in competitions gives them the incentive to stay with it.

Whatever you do, you certainly won't regret the training or the experience. The hardest thing you will do is...stop.

It's addictive. Don't say you weren't warned.
Acro books

I recall that our old friend Bill Kershner has written books, manuals and articles about acro. Or else, his materials are buried in his private and commercial flight training manuals.
I did an "upset recovery training" course at FlightSafety in a Zlin242 with a Romanian guy who was a former MIG 21 aerobatics instructor. It really expands your view of flying, we are intially taught to fly airplanes like old women (mabye for good reason) it is really neat to strap on a parachute and fly beyond the stall (ballistic trajectory). I really learned alot about how to "unload" an airplane if you get into trouble and of course some very indepth spin training. I highly recomend it and yeah its VERY addicting!
try texas air aces

texas air aces @ hooks airport in houston is one of the best places in the country ,they teach regular aerobatics and also what they call " advanced manuevering program" in t-34's
it is a real eye opener taught by former fighter pilots who fly for continental airlines
anyway call don wiley thier # is 281 379 2237
have fun , it can save your life
I donnated and yes get that acro

I am a fairly high time pilot but relatively new to acrobatics. It has been a real eye opener. Just the experience of working below stall speed and that you can still make the airplane do things has been a great help. Learning slow rolls, and then breaking down the procedures taught by "Aviation Safety Training" in Houston and written about in Flying Magazine, you can see how to get right side up in the event of an upset.

Step on the sky, push, power and roll is not at all a natural act for most pilots. It's very unconfortable but will get the airplane right side up in an emergency close to the ground.

I was in Boston several months ago when a Cessna 402 got into a wake encounter with a B737. The airplane crashed, the pilot survived, but it was a classic roll over at low altitude. The 402 was very light and had the necessary performance to survive the encounter but the pilot pulled instead of pushed and a crash reslulted. In a light twin an encounter with any narrow body boeing or Douglas can result in an upset and the training is worth while.

I agree with others that the training needs to be ongoing and not just a one time deal. Aerobatic skills detoriate with time like instrument skills, but that is no reason not to start.

"Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana."
I read that article in Flying regarding step, push power. That's actually what got me thinking origianlly on getting some extra training in this area.

Thanks for all the info guys. I'm sure I will become addicted to at as I seem to be with anything aviation related.

Off to North Carolina for xmas- everyone have a safe and happy holidays.

"to go up pull back, to go down, pull back harder..."
When you're looking for acro schools, check out Chandler Air Service in Chandler, AZ. They have exactly the kind of unusual attitudes course you're talking about, and they do competition aerobatic instruction as well. The management there has kind of an "our excrement doesn't stink" attitude which turns some people off, but I can tell you that the aerobatic instruction there is top-notch. If you call them up, they can also recommend some great books on the subject.

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