Craig Gifford Acroblog


Welcome to the Craig Gifford Acroblog

Originally started as I prepared for the 2012 World Advanced Aerobatic Championships, this blog is where I drop my aerobatic musings and links to recent (and not-so-recent) videos.  The 2013 season is about to begin so keep following!  Please drop me a note at if you have commentary on my posts.  Thanks!

April 25, 2013 - the 2013 season is here!  I spent the past weekend in Millington TN, practicing with fellow acro pilot with coaching/critiquing by one of the best coaches available.  Four very fun days.  Knocked off a lot of rust.  Plane ran perfectly.  Put some finishing touches on a new Free program for 2013, and flew two Unknowns with no zeros in either.  Unfortunately, when all the fun was done, rather than flying my plane home I had to leave it in TN and take commercial home because it was SNOWING again in MN.  Have to go back to get the plane next weekend.


video of unknown 1, with Linda critique comments.  this was a limited prep unknown - received mid-morn, flown a couple hours later.  Only a couple pushes, but a good bit of headwork.


September 9, 2012 - I write this with a very heavy heart, having learned last night that one of my teammates, Reinaldo Beyer, lost his life yesterday in an aviation accident.  The entire USA Advanced Aerobatic Team is deeply saddened.

I haven't posted in ages, and I appreciate everyone following us in Hungary on the team blog.  Someday I will have time to post more of that trip - but today I remember my friend and teammate.  Please keep his family in your prayers.


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 Blue skies good friend

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July 25, 2012 - Just a quick update.  No video - I have some from my practice flight in the Nyiregyhaza box, but would prefer to take the time to go to bed a bit early tonight than cut the video....because tomorrow this sucker gets started!  Sharon and I took commercial from Prague to Budapest then drove the two and a half hours to Nyiregyhaza.  Pleasant drive, good "M" class roads.  130 km/h (about 80mph).  The people in Hungary are extremely nice, though the language barrier is difficult as very few speak much if any English - unlike most European countries where I've been able to communicate pretty easily.  The team is all in one hotel - pretty decent lodging in a nice wooded area, quite close to the airfield.  Sharon was able to hear and see some of the flying from the open air patio area.  Tomorrow Sharon is off to a nearby town for more tourism.

We've already had a little bit of 'contest drama' from the other teams directed at the US - the guys got the planes here on Monday and because few teams were here there were open practice slots.  They flew in the box, as did members of other teams that were here.  The contest bulletins clearly said box times wouldn't be duplicated until everyone had a chance to fly, but didn't say there was a prohibition on flying more than one practice in the box (nothing in the CIVA rules says that).  Then yesterday they were told that there had been a complaint that since not everyone was able to fly in the box more than once the "US team shouldn't get to", in spite of the fact that all of our original practice slots were for today, and that if we did an official protest would be submitted - we'd win the protest, but not win friends.  So, the guys that had previously flown in the box decided to sit out today even though their previous flights weren't as focused as they'd have been if they'd known it was their only one.  It was a good call and we hope the other teams, judges and officials will give us credit for cooperation.  So, only Jessy and I flew in the box today since we hadn't flown before.  The box here is very well laid out and visible - second only to the one at US Nationals in Dennison Tx.  I flew pretty decent, though about half of my snaps were sloppy.  I was mostly focusing on getting the sight picture for the box rather than figure quality, but those judges are certainly there and watching and forming opinions so I wish I'd nailed those a little better.

Tomorrow is the opening briefing and drawing lots for flight order - It technically shouldn't matter, but it does....I sure hope for the last third, or at least the middle third.  Now off to get some sleep - it may be difficult tonight!


N804Q in the hangar with other contest planes at Nyireghaza before my practice flight on Wednesday

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A panorama of Prague cityline from the national castle - Sharon stayed in a hotel that was attached to the national castle.  Click the link for larger version.

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July 21, 2012 - Bonus post!  Sharon and I made it to Prague after only a small delay in Amsterdam.  I got a few hours sleep on the international flight and a few minutes on the intra-Europe flight (Sharon didn't manage much at all).  Only minor problem with the travel was my brand new suitcase didn't have the strength to hold up to much weight - the axles on both wheels bent enough that it's now literally a "carry-on" bag.

Sharon stayed in Prague while I rented a car and drove down to Hosin (about 2 hr drive) where the team is practicing.  After beautiful weather all week for the team, the clouds and rain showed up with me.  But, we all got one flight in today (Saturday).  Hopefully the weather will clear for the last day and a half training camp before departing for the contest site in Hungary on Monday.  We each get only one 15 min familiarization flight in the contest box before the contest begins on Thursday so this is it - an entire spring of practicing, planning, stressing, is here!

The people have been very welcoming, but very little English speaking in the CZ countryside.  And I don't think they've ever seen a cow - pigs are the main course here - pig sausage at breakfast, pig stew at lunch, pork steak at dinner.  yeesh, I don't think I'll eat pork again for a while....

Jody posted a nice update mid-week at so keep an eye out on that page as I'm probably going to be "logging off" to focus on flying in a day or two.




Pretty tough unknown from Nik on day 6 of camp (day 1 for me).  Only 3 of us made it through with no zeros out of the 9 practicing here in Hosin (7 from TeamUSA, 2 "independents").  Because of cloud ceiling we followed the "optional break" CIVA rule which allows one break without penalty (so you can start lower, then climb back up at an appropriate point in the sequence).  When I got to the figure we planned for the break I had plenty of altitude, but wasn't positioned quite center box so I took the break (4:10), repositioned and finished.  The team liked it because I put the 3/4 snap right overhead aimed straight down at them (the airport facilities are underneath the box, not the greatest for critiquing but it works ok) - I nailed the snap (4:57) - loaded it up good, and when I unloaded it really went around.  When I landed my teammate with whom I'm sharing the airplane told me you could hear the air cavitating on the ground...said he remarked to the others "that'll loosen some screws!" :=))  anyway, tough sequence - real contest will never have 3 270 deg rollers, but great training.

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now for the REAL bonus!  who knew???  Nik entertains during a weather delay.

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July 14, 2012 - I'm going to try to stay focused on the flying while in Hungary, so this is the last blog update until after I return from WAAC.  One of my teammate's son (Jody) is our "PR specialist and journalist" while we're in Europe and has already done some neat communications about the team members' activities in Europe so far.  He will be posting lots of info on the team's status over the next three weeks, so follow us on:

Went to the Jackson Michigan contest last weekend.  Last year I was running late getting there and went over Lake Michigan to make it before dark - the whole way over I was thinking what a long swim that would be if I lost power!  So, in spite of it adding about 40% more time, I chose to go around the lake both ways this time!  3 hr flight rather than 2 hrs, so not really that big of a deal.

Like the rest of the country, the contest was blistering hot on Saturday - really oppressive.  Not much camera work because I was also judging several categories.  So much so that all the time in the sun really got to me Saturday and I was ill feeling all the way through Sunday afternoon.

I was first in the Known, though like Seward I felt pretty good about it but actually scored below my average.  My Free scored the highest I've scored in a Free at 2700 (88%).  The Unknown was a good design - inverted entry, cross-box spin and an outside 60 deg roller.  Lot's of headwork.  I felt prepared going into the flight and had a pretty comfortable lead - not enough to overcome a zero, but enough I just needed to fly solidly.  So what do I do?  I started out really nicely, flew the highest K figure well, worked the box just like I wanted, nailed the spin....and then snapped out of the outside roller.  Just had too much rudder still in when I added the G in the pull.  Blasted.  First zero in competition in over a year.  Turns out I still wound up in 1st (just barely), but I just can't zero anything in Europe.  Hopefully I got THAT out of my system!

MI contest results

See ya', and thanks for following my blog this spring and summer!  I'll be back after WAAC.



No ground footage, but here's the inside footage of the Michigan contest Unknown.  I started at the back of the box, brought figure 2 to the judges, continued to work the next 4 figures on the judge side of the box to set up to take the roller away from the judges because the figure after the roller was an outside/inside loop and I wanted the loop not to be over the judges for presentation considerations.  Unfortunately Jackson has only 2 of 5 box markers on the back side so it's a guessing game on alignment....I paid too much attention to alignment (which I had working out pretty nicely actually) and forgot to be smooth on the controls.  I was late getting into the rudder and late crossing over.  The zero is at 2:30.


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June 27, 2012 - managed to get away from work in time to fly down to Seward Nebraska for their weekend contest.  Aaron McCartan graciously ensured I had a room to stay in at the local B&B, and Harry Barr and team put on a nice contest.  Weather was very cooperative after a slight delay Saturday morning.  Doug Roth flew Advanced and the competition was very tight, coming down to the Unknown.  I felt like I flew a very good Q, but scored about my average.  I flew my latest Free for the first time in competition and it scored pretty well - there was a strong wind and I was able to keep the last three figures in downwind, but just barely, so that Free is still in need of some design tweaking.  The Q flight had a lot of pushing, and I was rough on a couple figures, but flew it smoothly enough to win the flight.  Overall, a GREAT workout for the new motor and very happy to have the plane back.

Seward contest results



Three cameras rolling! video from two on-board cameras plus one from the ground (focus is off on the ground camera a bit).  This takes a while to edit them all together on my slow old laptop!

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Picture of my plane next to Doug Roth's Staudacher.  Doug's is the Ratsrepus (superstar backward) that John Staudacher built for himself - I think #3 of that design - and is the start of the line of the Staudacher wing.

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A few more pictures from the contest:

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June 17, 2012 - Bolduc finished the motor for my Panzl last week - nothing seriously wrong with it, but very glad I had him pull it apart and inspect.  Put back together with new bearings, and OH'd the mags.  Trucked it down to Iowa this weekend.  Things went pretty smoothly - installed and test flew Saturday, flew it home early Sunday morning.  Runs great, glad to have it back.  Hopefully I'll get some evening flights in over the next four weeks before I head to Europe!  Many thanks to my good friend TK who not only helped me with the install, but also drove my truck and trailer back to MN (5 hrs).  Not only do I owe him bigtime, but so does Sharon since that kept her from having to make that drive!



Link to a page with pictures from Iowa.

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June 10, 2012 - Loaded the plane in the container this weekend! After postponing the project last week because of some logistics issues, Tom and friends from TN, Marty and Jody, and I spent the weekend removing the wing and horizontal stabilizers from the Staudacher and containerizing it.  Very hard work all weekend, but we got it done and I believe it's safely secured for a rough ride across the ocean.  We learned that you don't remove the wing from the fuselage, you remove the fuselage from the wing!  Seriously, you pull the gear with the plane on a hoist, lower it to wing supports, pull the bolts and then jack the fuselage up off the wing.

I think we have a reasonable plan for reassembly (and then disassembly) in Europe, but there are a few things we'll need to get there to make the job easier and hopefully we have a reasonable place to put it together - at least flat pavement (I don't think we'll have a nice shady hangar like we had in North Carolina this weekend.



Link to a page with pictures from the weekend.

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May 29, 2012 - Sharon and I flew the Viking to Tennessee for Memorial Day to practice at Tom's place with Kelly.  The weather was great - a bit warm and humid, but I guess that's good as it gave us a worst case look at airplane performance since it won't likely be hotter than that in Hungary.  I practiced a free sequence that I tweaked a bit from what I flew in Atlanta.  Kelly got to fly his plane again for the first time in a couple months.  The Adams were very gracious hosts putting us up overnight.

Kelly's airplane goes in a box this weekend and on a boat Monday for the trip to Hungary - things are starting to get serious!

Panzl is still down - motor is disassembled at the shop.  With luck next week the motor will get reassembled. Then to get it back on the airplane in time for maybe a couple weeks of final touchup practice.


This video is from a different camera view - looking out the left wing.  This is where I look about 50% of the time during a sequence - to align the plane with the horizon. Everything vertical is looking out the wing or at times looking a bit back toward the tail.  Unfortunately this view shows all my over and back roll bobbles....

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Cool pic huh?  Link to a pass through the Q flight showing all my facial contortions!  I think I'll try just flying with a straight face - maybe it'll help!

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May 21, 2012 - Flew the Grenada MS contest this past weekend.  The contest organizers, Chris Rudd, Wayne Roberts and all the others in Ch. 27 really put on a great contest and rolled out the red carpet for the Advanced Team in terms of adapting their contest to make it the most beneficial to us from a training perspective.  The other Advanced competitors also were very gracious in putting up with the difference in procedures (warm up figures, no holds, etc) as well as flying the Free Unknown with us - thanks Wayne, John and Chet.  Five of us from the team flew the contest - in the IAC portion, Nik got first, Marty second, me third and Jessy a very close fourth.  Mark didn't make the last flight because of work.  In the Free Unknown Nik was first, Mark was second and I was a close third.  The only zero by the team the whole weekend was an overspun inverted spin in the Free Unknown by Marty because he entered the figure too low on energy.  I wish I'd have flown a little better Free at the end, but I think the team as a whole flew pretty well, and we really seemed to connect nicely as a team - something that's been starting to gel for the last 2 months or so.

And, Marty's son Jody came out and filmed quite a bit of our flights.  Plan is for him to go to Europe with us and film in Europe - that's cool because now we'll have some video from the ground.  The link to the right is to Jody's Youtube page with my flight, and he also has some of the other team pilots in Grenada.




This is the first unknown.  Not an overly difficult flight, but not the best I've flown.  Lots of full rolls on 45 lines - I haven't practiced those much lately.  The first hammer near the end was very sloppy - I pivoted too late, torqued a bit on my back, pulled power to stop the torque, almost completely stopping the pivot, then aileron'd and ruddered it to nose down (watch it closely at the 2:40 mark...yuck).  The inverted spin at 1:01 was actually very nice once I finally slowed down from the roller before it, but I was seriously steep after the 1/2 snap on the 45 after it.  The Eagle would have struggled getting over the top on the last figure at 3:23....the Staudacher/ problemo!

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Jessy (teammate) flew down to MS with me, and flew the Viking while I ferried the Staudacher from/to TN.

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May 18, 2012 - Kelly's airplane is back operational.  I got the annual done and Bolduc got the motor finished.  I put about 4 hours on it over the weekend, including about 2.5 acro.  Smooth running, rings have seated, and pulling as strong as ever.

And it's a good thing his airplane is back operational....because on the ferry flight bringing the Panzl back from Florida my plane sprung an oil leak and I had to leave it in Iowa.   Gary and I went down Wed, pulled the motor and transported it back to Minneapolis.  Turns out to have been loose throughbolts/case fretting.  Repairable but I don't know the timeframe.


Oh man, these pics are hard to look at!

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April 30, 2012 - April is Q1 close month, so not much flying until late in the month.  Mid-month I managed to get in 3 flights in the Eagle.  Notwithstanding my April 1 post, I couldn't help myself and flew sequences to see how the Known and my continually tweaked Free work in the Eagle.  Known is ok, but suffice it to say that my Free is no longer a "biplane free" - I can fly it off the bottom of the box in the Panzl, but in the Eagle it is an altitude eater.  I have to start it at the top of the box to keep the low point above the floor.  So, if I fly the Eagle in any regional contests I'll have to fly last year's free.

The last weekend of April I headed down to Florida for the last official team training camp.  The team is flying Sebring this weekend but I was not able to attend.  Next weekend is Grenada MS, then the airplanes go in boxes for their sea journey to Europe!

Camp weekend was tough!  Nick put us through unknowns until we were worn out.  Day 2 had a 14 figure 415k unknown - and all of these involve just 30 minutes or so of prep time before going to fly.  Great practice. I put up a video of one of the Unknowns from the weekend. 

Oh, and yes, flying the Eagle - as fun as it really is - definitely hosed up my feel and timing.  Took the first day of camp to get back used to the Panzl.  At least I kept up my G tolerance.


An Unknown flight in Keystone - RTC!

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When you go to my youtube channel, check out my "camera departure" video also - watch the whole thing - quite a different camera viewpoint than I've used before!  and you'll see why I haven't video'd recently....

April 7, 2012 - No flying this week, but here is a bit of video from Keystone a couple weeks ago - a pass through the known on the first day, and a bit of airshow-type flying at the end of a practice flight on the second day.



The Q sequence - knocking the rust off at the beginning of 5 productive days of flying in March

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just fooling around - I'm not much of an airshow pilot

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ever heard of "planking"?  me neither, but this one could be the team picture I think!

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April 1, 2012 - Another update within a week, no foolin!  Flew the Eagle today acro for the first time since Nationals last September.  Holy mackerel, how'd I limp through Advanced last year in it?  So much slower roll rate, so much mushier snaps, so much draggier.  I think I'll mostly just use it to keep the G tolerance up and not try to fly sequences - it'll just mess up my timing.

No video of the flight today because.....I've lost my n-flightcam!  I guess it's gone to join the several ipods, binoculars, phones, etc I've lost - good grief.


March 28, 2012 - Boy, this update has been so long in coming that most everyone will probably never bother to check this blog again. My travel schedule, a switch in planes in Florida, and other things conspired to keep me from keeping this updated. Nevertheless, I'm back up.  Following is a bit more on the last few weeks.  And, a new video and some pictures 

The last weekend of Feb I went back to Florida for training camp.  First day Kelly's airplane had a problem - a few know the details, not necessary to expand, but the plane is down until early May.  So, that camp was cut short for me.  I returned to MN to lousy weather for well over a week, so no flying.  Then mid-March I flew the Panzl down to Florida for 2 days of practice with Mark (teammate) and 3 days of training camp.  By the end of the camp my flying was finally getting back up to proficient - my free in the Sunday "pretend contest" flight was the best I've flown.  I left the Panzl in Florida for Kelly and I to use down there until the Staudacher is back operational.  Unfortunately work travel prevented me from attending the Keystone contest (my teammates finished 1-4 and 7 in Advanced in the contest) - and 2, 3 and 4 were CLOSE, separated by only 23pts (of roughly 7,500) - nice flying guys.

So, for now I'll be flying the Eagle in MN and the Panzl in Florida until May.  Look for future videos in April to be shot from the Eagle - it's so happy it gets to fly again I can hear it giggling in the hangar!

By the way, before I took the Panzl to Florida I did a little more oil leak chasing and found the principal leak and fixed it - finally have a clean engine.  That project took way too many hours.

Finally, some new sequences:  to the right is the free program I'm settling in on.  The old one just didn't work well with Nik's spin technique - plus I've found my new favorite, a snap and a half on top of a half-loop down and wanted to work that in as well as get rid of that outside half-loop up (no fun to keep practicing).

Finally, to cap off this post, Aaron and I have a bottle of scotch somewhere this summer on a contest in Sportsman flying a 3-figure free.  I really like this one and can't wait!




Mark and I took a run through Kelly's free as an unknown - 20 min or so of prep.

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Mark's Giles and the Panzl between practice flights

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My new Advanced Free

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the world's best Sportsman Free - flyable in a biplane or monoplane, minimal altitude loss.

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February 19, 2012 - Great flying weather in Minneapolis this weekend.  Got the Panzl put back together after annual.  I'm beginning to get enough time in the Panzl and Kelly's Staudacher to notice some handling differences.  But I need to be proficient in both so just more practice!

Met a fellow Ch 78 member at Litchfield for acro practice Sunday.  Though the sun was out, it was still a bit chilly so we critiqued from inside the airport building.  Forrest came up with an interesting approach to critiquing line lengths before and after rolls using a dry-erase marker on the window tracing my lines - pretty cool!

New video this week is my free program at Litchfield, using the camera position that shows rudder and stick movements.  This was my first turn in the box and I wasn't flying very well.  My second flight, after the line length exercise, I flew the Known and flew it pretty smoothly - but of course didn't bother to turn the camera on (sure, I know, big fish story).  I still like this free, but will probably change the half loop up before the spin to some sort of vertical line so that I can use Nik's spin entry easier.

check out the head movement at 0:41 in the video - and I thought my neck soreness was from motorcycling!


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February 12, 2012 - First training camp weekend of Feb.  Great weather for Nik, Tom, Kelly, Marty, Mark, Jessy and me.  Flights were better for all of us than last camp - I am really learning a lot and enjoying being able to fly without all the heated clothing!

Links to the right of pics from the weekend (I need to buy a new camera, that one seems to have problems!) and an interesting video camera position showing throttle, stick and rudder movements during one of the practice unknowns (this will be thoroughly boring to all but the most hardcore acro nut).  The sequence is the 2012 compulsory figures, but in a jumbled order as a training tool.  Interesting because I'd have bet money I used two hands during snaps - looks like I think about it but get my hand back to throttle before the snap even starts.

Panzl is down for annual - hope to have it back together to fly some this weekend.


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February 5, 2012 - this is what happens when someone with OCD starts chasing an oil leak!

I believe the one I was mostly looking for was the oil filter adapter mounting surface to the accessory case.  I trued up that surface and reinstalled with a new gasket.  But in the process I determined there were several other minor leaks, mostly from all the push rod tube seals.  So, I replaced them too!  Got it all back together mid-week, but no flyable weather since then.  Looking out at an 800 ft OC today (Sunday).  Not likely I'll get to fly until next weekend.

Had the IAC Ch 78 winter gathering at my house last night.  Usual suspects showed up to partake of a fine bottle of locally distilled Irish whiskey, some bbq, airplane talk and a few youtube videos.  Fun time.




Here's another pic of the Eagle from Nationals - this is after my pre-contest practice flight.



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January 29, 2012 - Got in one acro flight this weekend (and an enjoyable flight with an instructor in the Viking for BFR).  My flight Saturday was wholly focused on trying to adapt to Nik's spin technique.  No luck so far, but I'm determined.

Still trying to pinpoint and resolve an oil leak, with the airplane back apart at the moment.  Should have it back together by the weekend - hoping for another flyable weekend. 

I posted some video of flying earlier in January on my youtube page.  A couple cold flights!  Click the link to the right for one, and check out the rest of my youtube sight for others.


also, here's a pic of the Eagle from Nationals - I love that airplane.



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January 23, 2012 - Well, my first weekend camp with the team was...humbling.  I felt pretty confident going into the weekend, having flown pretty smoothly the last couple weekends.  But, Nikolay, the team coach, is converting everyone to his (very proven) method of spins and snaps and, well, to be honest I wasn't getting the hang of them - particularly the spin method.  Basically it's a slow stabilized flat spin, both upright and inverted.  I've done plenty of both in spin and recovery practice/training, but never done either as less than 2 turn spins and never in competition.  For example, the inputs for a more "classical American" competition upright spin are power off, stick back, full rudder, maybe a little stick *into* the spin to help blend the recovery, then full rudder recovery.  Nik's approach for an upright spin is power at 30-50%, in-spin rudder, stick forward and in spin for a moment, then back and opposite spin (to flatten), then add recovery rudder enough to keep spin speed under control, adjust elevator for nose pitch and power as necessary.  Basically, lots to do, very quickly, and pretty much exactly opposite to what I've learned the last four years.  But, I have to admit it looks good and the few I actually did correctly (sort of) are very controllable.  I'll get it, I just need dedication, focus and PRACTICE.  I enjoyed meeting most of my teammates in the training environment (as opposed to competition) - I really didn't know any of them much before this.  

On the plus side, I got to fly Kelly's airplane for the first time and the good news is it flys very similarly to mine and is a great airplane.  We had a spark plug die on Saturday, but fortunately Mark had good condition used plugs in the hangar so we borrowed one and got the issue sorted pretty quickly.

Next camp is three weekends from now.  At the very least I WILL have the spin technique down by then.


January 9, 2012 - Hi folks, sorry for the lag in updates - had computer problems but I'm back up now.  We've had fantastic winter weather (for flying) in Minneapolis so far.  Between holiday schedule and year-end activities at work I've managed to get a few flights in.  Got the new coupling for the alternator installed.  Annual is due end of January so the Panzl will be down for a few weeks starting late Jan.  I'm off to Florida in a couple weeks to practice with the team - Kelly's airplane will be there so I'll be flying it in Florida.  Until then, getting more used to the Panzl.  I have the timing down for vertical down snaps; still working on snaps on 45.  And that low energy half snap in the Known I'm trying using right foot rather than left - seems to stop more crisply that way.  I've flown my free program in the Panzl several times now - definitely easier in the Panzl to do it without losing altitude!  No new video - my flying hasn't justified it!

I'll update after the team camp weekend in a couple weeks!


December 18, 2011 - What a frustrating weekend.  It was supposed to be sunny both days and I planned to get in several flights.  Saturday was cloudy until late afternoon.  I tried to get in a quick flight but had an alternator problem.  Thanks to Tom I was able to get it started after a quick trip to KFCM to get back to KMIC.  Spent Sunday checking wiring and replacing a few connections.  Then realized the B&C SD8 "alternator" would turn freely.  Removed it and found the flexible coupling was sheared.  I replaced it with a vacuum pump coupling I had on hand and it's working again, but by the time I got that done it was dark.  At least the airplane is back together for the next flyable day.

On the plus side, I got installed a "whistlestop" that Tom made for me to put in the breather line in case the back port freezes over during really cold weather flights.


The failed coupling

the breather port inserted in the breather hose


December 11, 2011 - I got the Panzl wired up for Gerbings heated clothing (socks, gloves, pants, jacket) and got all the clothing in.  Tried it on a 20 degree day and it worked great.  Last year I gave up at about 35 degrees with numb toes.  Hopefully with this I can stay tuned through the winter.  Video of my first pass through the 2012 known is here.



November 27, 2011 - I'm thankful for many things this year - in particular for my wife who puts up with me in all this acro stuff.  Also for the great friends in the upper midwest that I've made in IAC ch 78, for the great friends in IAC ch 107, for all the other friends I've made in the acro community in the last couple years, and John and Linda Meyers-Morrissey for their guidance.



November 20, 2011 - Some tweaks to my free.  Last year's free was designed specifically to be optimized for my 540 Eagle - to take advantage of the power and to minimize the downside of the slow roll rate.  I just added a point to the rolls up and down on 1 and 2 which I can do now with the Panzl, which allows me to do the 3/4 on 8 without points which I think looks better.


November 13, 2011 - Brought back the new airplane I will be flying in preparation for WAAC.  A 2001 Panzl S-330.  The plan is for me to share costs to get Kelly's Staudacher 300 in Europe.   The Panzl is the same plane just built by Greg Panzl rather than Jon Staudacher.  In fact, look at the paint job - just inverse red and blue.

Thanks to Aaron for transporting me down to TX to get the Panzl in his family Skylane RG.  It was a great trip and I really enjoyed his company.  We did one critiquing flight in Pocahontas - I have a lot to learn about the Panzl!





My Panzl

In flight (2).jpg (80772 bytes)

Kelly's Staudacher

Chris Panzl's Staudacher


November 11, 2011 - CIVA selected the Q (Known) for 2012.  Definitely the most flyable by all biplanes and monoplanes alike.  Differentiators will be integrating the roll on 1, the half-snap on 4, and the roller.  They'll all be midbox right in front of the judges. 




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