A bit of a dream / itchy that feels out of reach

Discussion in 'Aerobatics' started by USAF-LT-G, Feb 16, 2017.

  1. USAF-LT-G

    USAF-LT-G Pre-Flight

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    Ever since I left the Air Force as a Capt, I've never once been able to successfully satisfy or even get a taste for the itch to do some aerobatics. I was a comm officer who got his PPL and later an oppty to complete my MBA while selected to cross-train in a pre-selected joInt fighter UPT slot. However, and I don't regret it, I met my future wife to be at the time, whom wasn't going to marry me if I stayed in the force and the Air Force at the time "happened" to be having a "voluntary commissioned officer force reduction." So I got out and got married, had 2 kids, 2 dogs, eventually got my own company and have been flying piper Cherokees around. Life is good... But that "itch" remains.

    Unfortunately, I live in northwest Illinois Chicagoland, and not only does there seem to be a lack of aerobatics / formation training, but even tail wheel training / endorsements seem few and far between. But the attitudes I keep running into.... I don't get it.

    I went down with my father a year or two ago somewhere near Morris, to take my dad to a glider school he was interested in. I saw a Pitts Special sitting in the hangar, and I said to the two older gentleman talking to my dad "boy I bet that's fun to do some aerobatics in".... These guys looked at me and I kid you not I got this scowl from both of them and then they both said to me "look, we frown very heavily here upon aerobatics and do not encourage it here... You can go somewhere else if that's what you're looking for. It is not a safe practice, and it's not something we do here..."

    That statement seems to be par for the course in my experience. I don't know if it's the state I live in or what, but just about every where I go, I run into the same crusty old pilots who scorn me for even inquiring. It's gotten to the point where I just hate to even bother bringing it up anymore.

    As sad as it sounds, I basically gave up the search to do any "actual" training let alone the experience of it because I'm tired of running into these pilots who seem to be very opinionated about the whole thing and I don't appreciate having to repeatedly run into condescending attitudes every time I inquire on the subject. If it does exist, it feels as though it's some secret society in Illinois that folks are just super tight lipped on, or just plain stingy.

    Also my AoA is working... I just checked


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  2. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I would have laughed my ass off at those two idiots, who the heck buys a plane built for aerobatics and is against aerobatics...FAIL

    Maybe ask on here, I betcha someone knows someone who could hook you up.

    Side note, good on you for looking to get some aerobatic training.
     
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  3. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Final Approach

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    Never really come across negative attitudes towards aerobatics. Morons do it in aircraft not designed for it, at unsafe altitudes, with no training in aerobatics but that's a whole different story.

    Personally, if the itch is that bad, go out and buy a cheap acro plane like an old Pitts or even a Vans or a Glasair. Plenty of aerobatic schools around the country. Just might have to drive a few hours.

    https://www.iac.org/aerobatic-flight-schools/usa/IL
     
  4. Richard Mandel

    Richard Mandel Filing Flight Plan

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    I've taught acro for years. I see these morons all the time. They want to make it seem as if what they do is something only they can do. Walk away from those guys. Years ago I was up in the Chicago area and flew at Gauntlet Warbirds. Those guys are pros. A quick Google search shows they're rebranded themselves, but they appear to still do training. Give them a try. If you're in Texas, lookup DFW Tailwheel.
     
  5. mscard88

    mscard88 Final Approach

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    If ever in Alabama, here's Gene Koontz who flies the Cub routine at airshows like Oshkosh and Sun-N-Fun. His private airport is just north of BHM, a few miles off I-59.

    http://www.gkairshows.com/

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Final Approach

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    Greg
     
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  7. whifferdill

    whifferdill Line Up and Wait

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    I think a couple folks here got the impression that the two older gentlemen in your anecdote were in involved with the Pitts you saw in the hangar. I assume they were not, and were just a couple crotchety buzzards who had no idea what they were talking about. I'm the President of the IAC Chapter in my state, and generally make an effort to promote aerobatics. I talk to lots of folks and have not experienced any real negativity on the subject. I think you just have a bad sample, not indicative of a general trend. There's no reason to let people like this discourage you. Next person you meet like this, ask them what their acro experience is. I think that would be illuminating. As for the fellow who mentions he's come across lots of aerobatic pilots who dismiss the idea of it being suitable for others, I've not really come across that either. Anyone who has that attitude likely has an over inflated opinion of their skills. The dedicated acro community is tight-knit, and there's not much room for this kind of BS. Skills and reputations are well known, and so are the very small numbers of jerks out there. Just a microcosm of aviation in general, really. So whether you become an acro nut or not, some basic experience is very worthwhile, so definitely go for it.

    Regarding training, Gauntlet Warbirds (now Gauntlet Aerospace) has shifted their mission and relocated to the Mojave, CA area. I'd suggest checking out http://www.keystoneaerosports.com/aerobatics in northern IL. They have a Super Decathlon which is the perfect intro aerobatic trainer. One of their instructors (Stephen) has some competition aerobatic experience so should be able to teach you to do quality figures if you develop an interest in precision acro beyond just the initial kicks of seeing the horizon flip around.

    There's also a northern IL IAC chapter should you get hooked and want to get to know more acro nuts in the area. Good luck.

    http://www.iacchapter1.org/
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2017
  8. JOhnH

    JOhnH Final Approach

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    Except for that fact that you are near Chicago, I am surprised about the responses you seem to get. My 86 yr old CFII is also a helicopter instructor and an aeroobatics pilot. He is also building his second RV7 (I think it's a 7). Most people that I know around my age (65) think aerobatics is cool. I wish I could do it in my Bonanza, but those v-tails tend to fall of when you do things like that and I love my Bonanza "as is".


    My suggestion is to find a place that provides that training and schedule a family vacation around it. I think there are some places around Disney to make the kids happy. If you wife bitches, tell her you are going to re-up in the AF.
     
  9. ebetancourt

    ebetancourt Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Sounds like you have run into some idiots. I'd be curious to watch them fly (from the ground) if they actually do. Aerobatics, in acrobatically capable airplanes is pretty darn safe. I don't think of myself as old, but at 75 others probably do. I am going to change to semi-retired status next month, and the first item on my bucket list is to practice enough to do the 2017 IAC primary sequence. It's been a while since I posted here, so I should mention that I now am flying a 1929 Waco ATO (yep a Taperwing). It took a serious effort to get comfortable landing it, so aerobatics had to wait. The last maneuver that I need to get better at is the 1 1/2 turn spin. It spins way faster than a Classic Waco and recovery is longer so it has been fun/interesting; I just started though so I'm sure it will come. Then I need to put the sequence together. The 1/2 Cubans are there, the loops are there, the roll is almost there, and the steep turn is a non-issue. Join the IAC, the website alone is worth the dues.

    I'm always fascinated by ignorance, and I wish it wasn't so, but pilots show their fair share.

    Ernie
     
  10. acropilot

    acropilot Pre-Flight

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    Come down toward Aurora, and we can go fly some aerobatics in a Super Decathlon! PM me for more info if you would like.

    whifferdill, Thanks for the plug!
     
  11. CC268

    CC268 Cleared for Takeoff

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    I've been doing spin training/aerobatics in a Great Lakes...holy cow...easily the best thing I have done for myself since I got my PPL...at first I was wondering what I got myself into sitting in that tiny ass cockpit, but once we started flying it was a blast. It really teaches you to own the airplane. Loops, rolls, hammerheads, spins, snap rolls...its a blast.
     
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