Acro instruction

Discussion in 'Aerobatics' started by Yeti Niner Five, Feb 17, 2016.

  1. Yeti Niner Five

    Yeti Niner Five Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2014
    Messages:
    144
    Location:
    Dallas
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Yeti Niner Five
    I'm planning to start some basic aerobatic instruction. I'm generally comfortable with the group that I'd be using (Big Q Aviation at KJWY). They're good people, good pilots and take care of their aircraft. I did my tailwheel endorsement there and currently fly with them as an occasional tow pilot. If I go this route, I expect the training to be spread out quite a bit.

    The other alternative would be going somewhere for a week of more intensive training. But I'm not sure what the pros/cons are for the different types of instruction.

    My goals would be to initially compete in Primary, then eventually move up to Sportsmans. I'd likely be flying their Great Lakes 2T-1A, initially. But I'm considering purchasing a Super Decathlon if this turns out to be something that I love.

    With all that said, are there other things to consider when selecting an aerobatic instructor? What questions would you ask?

    I'm really interested to hear the opinions of those with experience in the sport. I'm not in a rush and want to make sure that I have a good foundation of instruction as I get into this.
     
  2. Smutny

    Smutny Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2011
    Messages:
    49
    Location:
    Auburn WA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Smutny
    I went the drawn out route, mainly due to the winter weather here in the Pacific Northwest. Never considered heading down to someplace sunny for a few days to get started, but now I see that has some great advantages.

    Check out Flipside Aerobatics, Will is a friend of mine and has convinced me that a few days in an area where weather isn't a factor and the box is at the airport makes for a excellent learning experience.
     
  3. mscard88

    mscard88 Final Approach

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2015
    Messages:
    8,298
    Location:
    Alabama
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Mark
    Here's one in Ashville AL just NE of Birmingham

    gkairshows.com
     
  4. Seanaldinho

    Seanaldinho Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2012
    Messages:
    1,543
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Pop Yankee
    If you spread it out to much and you have a propensity for motion sickness it will take you much longer to grow accustomed to it. You will eventually but it'll be uncomfortable for a bit if thats something you experience.
     
  5. Yeti Niner Five

    Yeti Niner Five Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2014
    Messages:
    144
    Location:
    Dallas
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Yeti Niner Five
    That's a good point. Hadn't thought of that.
     
  6. Seanaldinho

    Seanaldinho Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2012
    Messages:
    1,543
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Pop Yankee
    If you could swing once a week I think you'd be alright but much more than that you'll probably end up relearning a lot of things. Similar to when you got your PPL, go two weeks without flying and your a touch behind the curve.
     
  7. djpacro

    djpacro Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2009
    Messages:
    63
    Location:
    Australia
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Dave P
    I haven't flown a Great Lakes but you will like the Super D.
    And the Pitts ...

    The Australian $ is way down now so a good time to visit for a holiday and learn aerobatics hear.
     
  8. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2014
    Messages:
    11,823
    Location:
    Behind you!
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    James331
    He is good people
     
  9. Arbiter419

    Arbiter419 Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2008
    Messages:
    1,087
    Location:
    Central Pennsylvania
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    CAucker
    Not related, but I just looked at their website, small world...look out for a white Super Cub that will be showing up there in the next few weeks. I demoed it for Pete up here in PA a few weeks ago and they closed on it just the other day.
     
  10. Yeti Niner Five

    Yeti Niner Five Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2014
    Messages:
    144
    Location:
    Dallas
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Yeti Niner Five
    I will. Pete's been busy on that front. They're buying a handful of them for a new business venture.
     
  11. Arbiter419

    Arbiter419 Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2008
    Messages:
    1,087
    Location:
    Central Pennsylvania
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    CAucker
    Very nice guy! Take good care of 78Y when it shows up, that's my girl! Gonna miss it so much. That's a neat operation you guys have down there, J3, Citabria, Great Lakes...that's my kind of fleet.
     
  12. Yeti Niner Five

    Yeti Niner Five Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2014
    Messages:
    144
    Location:
    Dallas
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Yeti Niner Five
    Certainly will. They've got some fun aircraft down there. There's also a Scout, a Bird Dog (in for repair), a Pitts and even an AirBike that's coming along. I spend a lot more money than I make with them.

    Sounds like you love that plane. Always sad to see one go.
     
  13. Stearman

    Stearman Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2015
    Messages:
    136
    Location:
    Dayton, OH
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Stearman
    This 100%

    OP, I'm about halfway through a 10hr basic acro course in a 150hp Citabria and it's been spread out over more than a year. Six lessons over 1.5yrs...not good. I get sick every time and it's frustrating. The lessons don't last long enough for me to cover new material.

    I'm president of my local IAC chapter and am fortunate to have a lot of mentors - every one of them has recommended I save up the money and do it all in a couple weeks. If you can save up and fly 2-3x each week you'd be doing well.

    G tolerance is also easily lost. Even the best competition/airshow pilots have to take it easy during in the spring, though they do retain a lot more of a base tolerance than you and I.

    Keep at it and post pictures/video! I have videos on my Vimeo channel if you're interested.

    http://www.vimeo.com/cubpilot
     
  14. Yeti Niner Five

    Yeti Niner Five Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2014
    Messages:
    144
    Location:
    Dallas
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Yeti Niner Five
    Nice videos, Stearman. Thanks for sharing them.

    On the topic of instructors, I'm assuming that the first instructor into a new type of flying is critical. It seems like they can have a very big influence on your foundational skill set. What questions do you guys ask of a potential instructor?
     
  15. Stearman

    Stearman Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2015
    Messages:
    136
    Location:
    Dayton, OH
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Stearman
    I've never interviewed an acro instructor, but here's what I would look for.

    Does the instructor have acro experience (competition or airshow)?

    Who do they look up to? Duane Cole and Bill Thomas? Those guys were masters of the aerobatic art. If he is more into Sean Tucker and Skip Stewart he may be a better guy to tweak your airshow routine, not teach basic maneuvers and theory.

    Is safety paramount?

    Is the equipment safe?

    Are you flying in an aerobatic trainer not a wondership? IMO and in the eyes of most respected acro instructors, the Extra and Pitts make poor first-time instructional planes. Learn to fly in a Citabria or Decathlon so you know you can really fly the maneuvers before the airplane makes it too easy on you.


    My instructor is a current airshow performer with his Citabria doing both a power routine and a deadstick power-off routine. He teaches Duane Cole's course with a few modifications (nobody's perfect) and emphasizes safe flying and energy management.

    That's one of the biggest things...you need to learn energy management and an Extra doesn't do that. :wink2:


    EDIT: I see you'll be flying the Great Lakes. That's PERFECT! Now I'm jealous. :yes:
     
  16. Stearman

    Stearman Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2015
    Messages:
    136
    Location:
    Dayton, OH
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Stearman
  17. whifferdill

    whifferdill Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    Messages:
    913
    Location:
    NC
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    whifferdill
    You mentioned Big Q aviation. There is one instructor there (Pete) with decent contest experience through Sportsman. Have you flown with him? What was your experience? Any good instructor will have references. But don't sweat it too much. You're never locked into one operation. You can re-evaluate if needed.
     
    Yeti Niner Five likes this.
  18. Yeti Niner Five

    Yeti Niner Five Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2014
    Messages:
    144
    Location:
    Dallas
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Yeti Niner Five
    Thanks, Whifferdill. I know Pete and have flown with him a few times. He's a really good guy and very capable pilot. He's most likely the instructor I'll use. Just wanted to ask around and see what other factors I should be considering. Now I just have to find time to get in the plane!
     
  19. somorris

    somorris Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    May 8, 2007
    Messages:
    1,945
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    somorris
    Have fun, Yeti Niner Five. I have a few hours of instruction in a Super Decathlon. They are great aerobatic airplanes in my opinion. Not sure about a Great Lakes.
     
    Yeti Niner Five likes this.
  20. Jeanie

    Jeanie Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2008
    Messages:
    2,239
    Location:
    Alpine, TX
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Jeanie
    You'll have a lot of fun in that Great Lakes. And Pete and Carol are wonderful folks. If you are interested in buying a super D please contact me I'm thinking of selling.