Aerobatics Training, Competition – Extra200

General aviation lockdowns lifted which meant it was time to lift off! The weekend of 25 – 26 July 20 was set aside for the Fenland Aerobatic Competition, hosted by the British Aerobatic Academy near Peterborough.

Aerobatic pilots from across the UK could enter with a chance of winning gold flying British Competition Aerobatic sequences in their respective levels so I decided to take on the challenge and be one of them!

Competition Aerobatics Training

After entering the competition at Sportsman level only two weeks before the event, training consisted of long days of preparation and planning as well as practice flying many of the aerobatic maneuvers in a training area away from the airfield with my coach. The ultimate training goal was to fly several of the maneuvers together perfectly as an aerobatic sequence ready to display in front of a set of judges and all within a 1000m x 1000m competition aerobatic box to as low as 1000ft. The Extra200 aircraft is a high-performance aerobatic aircraft, capable of climbing 2250ft min with a maximum maneuvering speed of 154kt and can withstand load factors of +/-10G making it a very capable aircraft for this type of flying.

A few days before the event, ground critique flights were carried out thus enabling me to practice a real competition scenario. I flew as if it was a real competition in front of a British Aerobatic judge who gave me live critique from the ground over the radio, both during my display and after my sequence was complete. I then used this critique to further improve my flying ready for the competition.

The Competition

A mass brief was given to all competing pilots giving all the information they needed including the location of the completion box, airfield details, weather, competition procedures, flight safety and the flying order. I walked through the sequence on the ground before the flight; visualizing positioning, wind, speeds and heights.

Airborne and cleared into the box by the Chief Judge and following an inverted check, I was ready to start and the competition was on!

I flew in two separate competitions; one on the Saturday and one on Sunday of which consisted of flying two different British Aerobatic sequences. The conditions were windy both days and made for very challenging flights. My competitors were all exceptionally good pilots, and this also made the competition a challenging one.

When the scores were released I was completely overwhelmed. The long hours of preparation and training resulted in success, two gold medals and a trophy for the highest overall score, which I was completely over the
moon with.