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Archive for the ‘Flight Reports’ Category

Success!!

The annual Omahawks Pattern Championship came and went last weekend, and I placed second! The Omahawks Pattern Championship is a precision aerobatics competition with pilots from many different states driving in with their aircraft and competing. Pilots must fly a predetermined sequence of maneuvers within a “box” stretching 60 degrees up and from each side of the pilot. The airplane must occupy and maintain a vertical plane 100 meters from the pilot unless a maneuver requires moving in or out. Turnaround maneuvers are flown to reverse direction when the airplane gets to the end of the box. Each maneuver is assigned a difficulty level “K-Factor” and the individual maneuver scores are multiplied by the K-Factor and accumulated. Our contest was one and a half days long. On the first day four rounds were flown. The second ‘half’ day required only two rounds to be flown. The airplane must fit within a two meter box and weigh 11 pounds or less. By nature, the flights are very precise and graceful. It’s really a sight to behold – and exhilarating to fly.

Here is an example flight:

His airplane is electric, but you get the idea. Just because we make it look so graceful doesn’t mean it’s easy. Quite the opposite. This is a sport that takes years of very hard practice to fly well. These are not toy airplanes, but rather high performance, finely tuned machines. It can take almost a year to properly trim one of these models out. They are built very light to make weight and can be very fragile. These multi thousand dollar aircraft won’t last long in the hands of the inexperienced.

I flew a two meter 10 pound 18 ounce gas airplane called the “Icepoint”.

 

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I’ve been flying my giant Pitts S-2S for some time now, and I’ve now put twenty flights on it. I’m still getting everything fine tuned and think it’s still very slightly nose heavy. Despite this small issue, it’s already capable of a very clean looking inverted flat spin. The first time I performed a flat spin in my practice routine there were quite a few spectators in the bleachers. I actually heard a few audible gasps coming from the crowd. Of course, I had the smoke system turned on. The smoke trail really highlights just how flat of a spin this aircraft is capable of. I believe I may have a small decalage or incidence issue as well. It seems to pull to the gear very slightly in a power off vertical downline, which would indicate too much incidence. I’ll get that adjusted right out.

 

At this time I am practicing an airshow routine flown by Al Hauff in his pitts. With this routine precision is key. I still have a few coupling issues to work out with my 33% pitts. Anybody else would probably say it’s fine, but I have a curse called attention to detail. Some people say that’s good, but I consider it a curse at times since it can cause you to never quite feel satisfied. Here’s a video of the performance I’m basing my routine from.

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