The place to find out about
competitive aerobatics is the International Aerobatic Club (IAC).
Here are two important articles on G-LOC
(instantaneous loss of consciousness that can occur at relatively low G levels).
Australian report with G-load
data acquisition from a Decathlon during a sportsman level sequence. 118KB.
Australian Advisory Circular
relating to G-LOC. 188KB.
As with other topics there isn’t
a book out there that will do everything for you. Generally speaking
the more, you read the more little tidbits and insights you will gather that
will either help you get better at the game or confuse the heck out of you.
These reviews are written from memory. Many of my books reside on bookshelves
other than mine. It saves space and reduces the baggage that one must carry
through life. That goes with now outdated LP and cassette collections. So accuracy may suffer here. If you have a book review to
add, send it in.
Better Aerobatics, Alan Cassidy, 2005
If you don’t have a
large collection of books already this is a good one to go for first. Mostly it
covers flying in a fair amount of detail. As with other books there are a few
mistakes so be careful. Pretty much every major flying topic is covered from
energy management, lines, Aresti, positioning and
basic through unlimited maneuvers. Descriptions of techniques and maneuvers are
simple and as clear as any that I’ve seen in any other
book. The descriptions of most of the maneuvers are detailed and get you on the
right track and will save you a lot of time trying to figure things out, or understand what an instructor is trying to tell you.
When the author get into tumbles and other unlimited
maneuvers an assumption is made that you have some understanding of what is
going on and the descriptions become less detailed.
Once again, be careful as not everything in
the book is correct and some techniques won’t work in
some planes, including the spin recovery techniques. The popular power off,
opposing rudder, hands off technique was report not to work in several modes on
several airplanes by one of it
strongest proponents, Gene Beggs. See below. One
aircraft reported not to respond is the ever-popular Decathlon when in an
Flight Unlimited 1995, Annette Carson and
Eric Muller, 1994
This is a rewrite of an original edition with
a few additions. Annette Carson translated for Eric Muller and the original was
ahead of its day in terms of clarity and superior content. It still has
relevance today. By today’s standard clarity is not as good as some other
books. Particularly useful in this book are descriptions of the vertical roll
and the spiraling tower (a tumbling maneuver invented by Eric Muller). The book
also entertains with the Muller’s account of a weld failure in the controls in
his Acrostar that left it only able to fly inverted,
with a failed engine and too low to use a parachute, all in front of a show
crowd. He repeated a feat carried out by Neil Williams see below.
Spins in the Pitts Special, Gene Beggs, 2001
This is more of a pamphlet than a book and
the most useful stuff is printed in the first few pages, so that you get the
message right away. The author is careful to aim the book at a specific aircraft, but relents towards the end of the book and
describes some of the extensive testing that he carried out on various types
and reports on some exceptions to the rule, which includes the Cessna 150 and
Aerobatics, Neil Williams, 1975
In the U.K, back in the early eighties when I
first started aerobatics, this was about the most useful book around. The book
is cryptic to a beginner and was written from the standpoint of using a Stampe, Bucker Jungmann or a Tiger Moth. Neil Williams also
recounts his adventure when the spar of his Zlin
buckled leaving it crippled and only able to fly inverted. Not having a parachute,
he had no choice but to prepare for a landing. This story later inspired and
helped Eric Muller save himself when a control failure left him with similar
options. The description of the lamcovak in this book
is as clear as mud.
Flight Fantastic, Annette Carson
Good coffee table book. Oversized, lots of
pictures and historical detail about aerobatics.
The Lockheed Aerobatic Trophy, Tony Lloyd,
Of historical interest.
Precision Aerobatics, Pere Ettingler, 1976
Aerobatics Today, Bob O’Dell, 1984
A lot has changed since ’84 so this is of
historical note. A lot of descriptions of planes used up to that date.
Airspace restrictions reinterpreted.
A note about airspace restrictions per 91.303
of the FAR.
The text follows....
EAA’S DEFINITION FOR AEROBATIC FLIGHT ‘SURFACE AREAS’
Reverses 1999 Ruling
March 16, 2006 - A recent finding by the FAA
Office of Chief Counsel affirms an EAA petition filed in 1998 that sought to
accurately define “surface areas” for aerobatic flight areas. FAA denied the
petition in 1999, stating that aerobatic flight “may not be conducted within
the lateral boundaries of the surface areas of a Class B, Class C, Class D, or
Class E designated for an airport.”
However, in response to a more recent petition filed by an EAA member,
FAA reversed that earlier decision and agreed with EAA’s opinion.
EAA maintained that since the term “surface
area,” refers only to those components of airspace that come
in contact with the surface of the earth, aerobatics could be performed
legally within Class B airspace (with proper ATC clearance) and/or underneath
the floors of Class B airspace.
The issue “re-surfaced” late last year when
Robert Hucker, EAA 443420, Lakeville , Minnesota
, filed a petition in advance of the Minneapolis (MSP) Class B
airspace expansion slated to go live February 16. That expansion increased
MSP’s Class B radius from 20 nm to as much as 30 nm in some areas, including
over an aerobatic practice area 25 miles southwest of the airport used
frequently by many local aerobatic pilots. Hucker
used EAA’s 1998 petition as a basis for filing his petition.
“The (1999 FAA) explanation to EAA’s petition
didn’t seem right to me,” Hucker said. “Plus use of
the term, ‘surface area,’ was inconsistent, so I decided to put together some
facts and file my own petition.” During his fact-finding process, Hucker discovered EAA’s 1998 petition at the MSP Flight
Service District Office (FSDO) and used that as the basis of his argument.
In a March 7 letter, Rebecca MacPherson, FAA
Assistant Chief Council, Regulations, wrote in a letter to Hucker,
“Upon review, we conclude that the EAA was indeed correct in its understanding
of ‘surface areas.’ In responding to your inquiry, we concluded that our 1999
interpretation was inconsistent with the term ‘surface area’ as used by Air
Traffic Organization (ATO) airspace planners to describe only airspace that
touches the surface of the earth.”
Randy Hansen, EAA government relations
director remarked, “EAA is extremely grateful to Mr. Hucker
and his steadfast approach in recognizing and acting to correct this issue.
EAA’s task is to now ensure the aerobatic community receives this corrected
definition in a timely manner.”
So as long as the
operational requirements of Class C airspace, Class B airspace, and other
aerobatic flight requirements can be met, pilots may perform aerobatics under
the outer areas (the classic “upside down wedding cake”) of Class B and Class C
airspace. It’s also important to note that this is not
a rule change, but simply a re-interpretation of the existing rule 14 CFR Part.