The 2014 US Advanced Aerobatic Team still needs your help! YOUR CONTRIBUTION is GREATLY appreciated. We are so thankful for the contributors who have helped us so far. We still have some things not covered (like team car rental in Europe, and the likely fees we’ll pay at the practice site airport). Tax-deductible donations can still be made to the Team care of the IAC at:
On Sunday, Craig and Sharon traveled to MI to bring a “few” things to load in the truck. Craig (with a little help/supervision from Sharon) gave the Freightliner a make-over. Amazing how just a few stickers can completely change the appearance of a truck. Love the new look!
Thanks to Greg Panzl (and Rachel) Wingtip to Wingtip, for dis-assembling 330CG (Craig’s Panzl) and loading it into the truck.
Polite, Polished & Professional 2 will soon be making its way to the port in GA (Thank you Gary DeBaun.) and shipping out to Germany. All of the logistics and paperwork have been quite the undertaking… not nearly as much fun as flying!
Four members of the team flew in the IAC Ch 3 Rome GA contest this past weekend – Marty, Craig, Mark and Mark. Overall all four of us flew quite nicely. No hard zeros from anyone. Craig got to fly his most recently designed PLS Free, and has decided to go with it for Europe – PLS is the secret weapon of Team USA! (it’s a secret, we’ll share after the contest!)
We were able to get in a 2nd Unknown. Sort of a Free Unknown format – all the Advanced pilots submitted figures the night before, Nik drew them up in the morning, and we got them and briefed immediately after flying the 1st unknown, so just a quick brief, no study and go fly. Marty, Craig and Fullerton flew…..but Novo didn’t get to fly because a storm blew in and we had to end the contest. So, we’ll just have to call the contest a draw for now until we get to Europe….BECAUSE….
That’s the last team gathering until the pre-contest camp in CZ. Now it’s time for a month of logistics – containerizing the planes, getting shipping arranged, insurance procured, customs documents in place, etc. The Panzl is at Greg Panzl’s place for disassembly. Marty is still working out a few kinks on the MX and will take to Ocala to containerize in a couple weeks.
Then, end of July we meet in CZ for a week of practice and off to the contest – hard to believe we’re in the last stages!
Craig flies Unknown 2 (yes, I’m still waiting on someone else to get me some video!) Plenty of mistakes, lousy roller, at least one out…remember, this was with zero study or planning time, just read the card, fly the figure. Still a fun sequence.
The community of Keystone Heights Florida once again hosted the US Advanced Aerobatic Team for “spring training” in 2014. Maria, Mary Lou, Keith and all our wonderful friends from 2012 eagerly welcomed us into their lives and homes to make our practice weekends so much more successful.
Over the course of 8 weekends from January through May we flew 3-day training camps at Keystone (and one at Imokalee – thanks Bo). Mary Lou graciously provided lodging for all of us, her husband Keith cooked fabulous meals for us almost every night, and Maria and Joe at the airport made sure we had a dedicated conference room and priority access at the airport in every way. Honestly, if your plan is hardcore aerobatic practice, you really can’t ask for anything more. Plus such fantastic friendships made over the course of these couple years.
Our last camp in Keystone was the weekend of 5/16. Our hosts threw a fantastic going-away party for us. Sad to it’s come to an end for the year. We’ll be back you can bet.
MARY LOU (the Mayor) and MARIA – our wonderful hosts for so many weekends
NIK flies off into the sunset in the Suk following our last camp.
Marty, Mark (Fullerton) and Craig (along with Doc Moye) are practicing in Keystone this weekend with Nikolay coaching. Absolutely perfect weather finally! Crystal clear blue sky (a front came through Thursday but has departed.) A stiff breeze directly crossbox was perfect for wind training – required substantial correction – the goal is to correct into the wind without it being noticeable because off-heading correction costs points. Where was this weather January through April??
The pilots got in 3 coached flights each on Friday. A”flight” usually consists of flying a thoroughly briefed, but not memorized, unknown, then practice on several weaker figures of the unknown, then perhaps another run through the unknown. Usually lasts about 20 minutes and the pilot is pretty tired at the end – effective training learning stops about then so might as well land instead of waste gas.
Marty’s MX2 is flying again with a different propeller and he seems to have worked through a rough-running motor. Marty’s challenges with his new plane have been troublesome, but not all that surprising with a new acquisition. Mark brought his Lazer but is transitioning to the MX2 since he’ll be flying that in Slovakia. Craig’s Panzl continues to run like a top.
The team made plenty of errors on Friday’s flights, but seemed to all calm down and settle in for the last flight, with several no-zero flights. We all left very positive about the day.