In the Loop - Flight to a Championship with Rob Dumovic



Rob Dumovic, IAC 436964, is chronicling his training journey to compete at the 2022 U.S. National Aerobatic Championships.  He will be competing in the Advanced Power category and has declared to try out for the USA Advanced Team.

He will be posting weekly videos on his YouTube Channel at: 

You can also follow him at:





Flight to a Championship, Episode 1 "Annual and Tuning"

Jun 3, 2022, Rob is training to compete at the US National Aerobatic Championships. In this first episode he goes down to Palatka, Florida to pick up an Extra 300 from its annual maintenance being performed by Warren Cilliers.

Getting the airplane handling correctly is going to be key to flying crisp, clean maneuvers in the competition box.



Flight to a Championship, Episode 2 "FL to NH in one day"

Jun 10, 2022, now that the airplane is out of annual it needs to get back to Massachusetts. Follow along on the journey as this magnificent machine entertains folks at airports, and Rob battles headset issues while flying from Punta Gorda to Nashua, New Hampshire in 1 day! 


Flight to a Championship, Episode 3 "Finding New Sight"

Tom Sherwood builds Rob a new sighting device using most of the original parts. 




Flight to a Championship, Episode 4 "Coaching"

Rob’s old boss Michael Goulian sits down at the grease board and then in the instructor chair of the Extra 300 for some incredibly valuable in aircraft instruction. 




Flight to a Championship, Episode 5 "First Advanced Contest" 

In this fifth episode I’ve had the airplane for 3 weeks and I’m training for my first contest of the season in the Extra.

Join me at the IAC Chapter 11 contest in Warrenton, VA for the ups and downs of the competition world.  




Flight to a Championship, Episode 6 "National Aerobatics Day"

Michael Goulian returns to coach Rob over the radio during National Aerobatics Day. Dive into the box with multiple camera angles on an intense flight!



Flight to a Championship, Episode 7 "Snaps and Snaps and Snaps and..."

Recently learned techniques need to be practiced being perfected. Here Rob is testing the limits of man and machine with repeated Snap Rolls.

Will his neck be able to take it? Find out in this episode!



Flight to a Championship, Episode 8 "Aggressive Learning"

Energy management is a massive factor in aviation. Flying my second Advanced Contest at the Green Mountain Aerobatic Challenge I overcompensated for some previously soft flying and wasted a lot of energy. Check out how hard to control the airplane gets when I continuously run it out of energy. Oh, and I have some of the wackiest facial expressions throughout this episode.




Flight to a Championship, Episode 9 "Oshkosh Repairs"

While Rob's at Oshkosh there's no time to train, but something's been clogging up the smoke oil lines on the Extra. So, Todd Ashcraft puts his recently acquired A&P rating to good use in the Emergency Repairs Pavilion.





Flight to a Championship, Episode 10 "Formation Home"

Oshkosh 2022 was awesome! As I was flying south towards Chicago, I spotted a flight of 2 Super Decathlons. Turned out to be my buddies Pete Muntean and RJ Gritter. Little bit of air coordinated formation later and we get some of my favorite type of flying. Enjoy!




Flight to a Championship, Episode 11 "Final Free Form"

Flying some acro and practicing for the upcoming Kathy Jaffe Challenge aerobatic competition.  Some coaching from Mike Goulian.

In this 11th episode I’m practicing my freestyle. Doing my best to make it a little less of an unknown. I start with some simple figures to acclimate myself to pulling gs. Working on wing correctors; looping sections and whether they are upwind or downwind; how much I need to pull or not pull to make sure there is a continuous radius.


Flight to a Championship, Episode 12 "G-LOC passing out in the airplane" 

Rob goes out to the last competition that will be hosted in the Northeast, the Kathy Jaffe Challenge. Suffering from a bit of food poisoning and pulling 9G's when he wasn't ready was a recipe that resulted in a wonderful nap at the most inappropriate time.

Flight to a Championship, Episode 14 "Back to Fundamentals "

September 2, 2022 - It's getting down to the wire. The US National Aerobatic Championships are coming up. From this point on, all acro flights should be observed, coached, and live critiqued. Now we're focusing on solidifying fundamentals, flying at the bottom of the box, and sight pictures. These next flights may be repetitive, but the difference between a professional and an amateur is the amateur practices until they get it right, a professional practices until they can't get it wrong.


Flight to a Championship, Episode 15  "SLUMing It"

September 9, 2022 - Wes Lui is back and challenging Rob with some Single Line Unknown Maneuvers (SLUMs). More mistakes mean more learning is occuring as we get closer and closer to Nationals.



Flight to a Championship, Episode 16  "Broken Plane - are we done???"

September 16, 2022 - Wiping down the airplane after a recent cross country, Rob notices something missing from the canopy rail. With only 12 days before he leaves for nationals, he's not sure if it can be fixed in time. (Cracking around the canopy hinges.)



Flight to a Championship, Episode 17  "We can rebuild it!"

September 23, 2022 - Extra Flugzeugbau in Germany reached out to us with an approved plan to repair the canopy. In this case, the damage was determined to be superficial but being a certified aircraft, the repairs must be to manufacturers standard. This video shows a bit of the repair process.



Flight to a Championship, Episode 18  "Unofficial Practice"

September 30, 2022 - After flying 1,235 miles from New Hampshire to Kansas, Rob gets the aircraft tech inspected and works through entry paperwork. Join him as he dives into the box in Salina, Kansas for the first time!




Flight to a Championship, Episode 19  "Just the Nationals flights"

Sorry, no time for editing. So, here's the flights up to this point. Known, Free, and Free Unknown #1. 




Flight to a Championship, Episode 20 - "The Last Flight"

Oct 14, 2022. Rob wraps up the U.S. National Aerobatic Championships. Congrats to all the competitors and good luck to Team USA!