U.S. NATIONAL Championships - September 21-27, 2019
Offical U.S. National Aerobatic Championships Bulletin
Check it out! Everything you need to know about the championship.
Info Bulletin Article No. 2
BY RON SCHRECK, CONTEST DIRECTOR, IAC 433751
Our nation’s aerobatic championship is three months away as the aerobatic season swings into full gear. We are on track to host what we hope will be the biggest U.S. Nationals in years at Salina, Kansas.
AJ Hefel is trekking back and forth from his home base to the Salina airport to help the Salina Airport Authority survey and mark the box for this year’s competition. The move to Salina will bring a much more visual box for the pilots than the Wittman Regional Airport layout- on the other hand, the nearest body of water to orient oneself with is a long way. The y-axis is lined up with Taxiway Delta, and the x-axis is tight down the middle of Runway 18/36. This also will offer great viewing for our pilots, their families, and visitors. We will erect bleachers along Hanger 606 for friends, family, and fans to enjoy for flying.
The Salina Airport Authority has offered to pour permanent cement markers if we return in 2020. My thanks to AJ for making sure we are 1,000 meters by 1,000 meters well ahead of time.
A shoot-out as well for 2018 Advanced champion John Ostmeyer. John drove from Kansas City to Oshkosh to pick up our Nationals equipment, delivered it to Salina, and then drove back to Kansas City. Guess he didn’t know that job came with winning first place!
I noted in my last update that coming to Nationals will make you a better pilot. Part of that is flying in front of a full panel of judges. We have volunteers for two of the chief judge positions and are working to fill out the balance of the panel. These people volunteer a full week of their time to support Nationals. I am grateful for their commitment to our sport- that’s the only way the International Aerobatic Club works: our volunteers.
Some people have wondered how Salina was selected. A search committee was formed as has been previously reported by our president, Robert Armstrong. What you might not know was that there were 44 airports on the initial list. Primary considerations for hosting the U.S. Nationals included location, weather, viable airspace, airport facilities, hotel and restaurant infrastructure, and financial factors. Using IAC Chapter 12 relationships we enlisted 20 students from the MSU Denver Department of Aviation and Aerospace Science to research recent weather to provide an index of probability for flyable weather in September. Combined with initial feedback from IAC members and airport leaders responses, the list of 44 was narrowed down to 10, five, and then three. Visits were made to the final three airports in Great Bend, Kansas; Lawrence, Kansas, and Salina. Salina was the clear winner in providing the right combination of infrastructure, airspace, and airport management support. The Salina Airport Authority and supporting community have been wonderful to work with, and we look forward to the great event.
Salina is a small city located on Interstate 70 and is about 60 percent of the size of Oshkosh. It was founded in 1858 and hosted wagon trails to Denver, cattle trains, and the Kansas Pacific Railroad. It opened the Smoky Hill Army Airfield in 1943 to support World War II; it became Schilling Air Force Base to support the Cold War as part of SAC. Salina hosts numerous Tier II hotels and restaurants; a list of lodging options can be found at www.IAC.org/nationals-2019-lodging-camping.
If you arrive via Kansas City you can visit some of the best barbecue restaurants in the United States. Think about adding this to your agenda as we hope to give you a little extra time by getting done on time or even early. If you are flying in from the south or southeast, make sure to swing low over Canton, Kansas, which is about 35nm from SLN to check out the hot and cold water towers.
The schedule for this year is continuing to be optimized. We will update the schedule on the website and in the next issue of Sport Aerobatics to round out the first plan on flights/categories. Our goal will be to fly when the sun is up and the weather is good to make sure we use everyone’s time in the most efficient fashion. The first priority of our National Aerobatic Championships is to crown the winners in each category. We want all powered and glider competitors from Primary to Unlimited to get their flights in! For now, know that we will launch categories as best we can back to back versus calling it a day if we can get done with the planned sorties.
I look forward to seeing you there! We’re going to have fun! Don’t miss it.
Info Bulletin Article No.1
BY RON SCHRECK, CONTEST DIRECTOR, IAC 433751
We have a huge hangar and runway courtesy of your tax dollars at work back in 1942! Built in only four months in 1942, today Salina boasts a 12,000 ft. runway and hangars designed for B-17’s & B-29’s. Affectional known in some circles as Big Bertha, one of these historic hangars will be home to our contest. These WW II bombers sized accommodations will allow us to have all our planes, pilots, family, and friend under one roof.
Entry fees are noted below. This is an excellent value for a week-long event as it includes all your entry fees, shirts, grab bag, videos of all flights, hangar fees, Taco Tuesday and banquet contributions for Thursday & Friday nights. In addition, open practice sessions in the box will be available on Thursday (Sept.19). We will move to scheduled practice slots on Friday & Saturday (Sept 20/21). Fuel is not included in the entry fee but we have secured a discount of $0.80/gallon for the contest. Fuel will be easy to get – we guarantee that as SLN is known as America’s fuel stop.
4 Minute Free: $150 / Collegiate: $335 / Primary: $360 / Active Duty Military: $410 / Sportsman through Unlimited: $560
We are working on ground logistics for rental cars available at SLN and event vans. Hotel information including RV parking accommodations at SLN Hangar 606 is already on the website. Make your reservation before September to secure IAC discounts. (https://www.iac.org/nationals-2019-lodging-camping).
Scheduled air service is available directly to Salina (SLN) and also to nearby Wichita (ICT) and Kansas City (MCI). We have the full support of the Salina airport and City event management.
I can promise you that coming to Nationals will make you a better pilot. You will get judging from seven qualified judges, videos of each of your flights, and the chance to raise your game under a little more pressure at the national championships. And you will have fun.
I look forward to seeing you there! -Ron-
March 1, 2019
At a Special Teleconference Meeting of the IAC Board of directors held today, Ron Schreck IAC #433751 was chosen, by unanimous affirmation by the Board of Directors, as the Contest Director for the 2019 U.S. Nationals to be held in Salina, Kansas, 21-27 September 2019.
Ron is a member of the IAC Board of Directors and serves as the South Central Regional Director, a position he has held since he was elected in 2016. Ron lives in Gold Hill Airpark, North Carolina. He is an Intermediate competitor in his RV-8 Miss Izzy and a National Judge. Ron was also a member of the aerobatic formation team of AeroDynamix where he was the flight lead. A graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, service in the United States Air Force as a fighter pilot for over 20 years, and a career as a USAir Captain, Ron has an excellent background as an organizer.
Ron reported today that he already has begun work on the foundation of the Nationals by arranging to meet with airport officials and the Visit Salina!, the Salina Area Chamber of Commerce, in Salina on March, 25, 2019. He will be joined by IAC Chapter 119 founding member A.J. Hefel of Wichita, Kansas, who will be his on-site liaison in the coming months.
A formal Nationals Site Review Process was ordered by the IAC Board of Directors at the annual Fall Board meeting in November of 2018 and Bob Freeman was tasked with conducting the process. Bob’s team consisted of Lorrie Penner, IAC Executive Director, IAC Secretary Lynn Bowes, former Director and founding member of Wichita Chapter 119 A.J. Hefel, and Kansas City Chapter 15 members John Morrissey and Linda Meyers-Morrissey.
In January, the Board met by teleconference where Bob presented his findings. In all, forty-four centrally located airports were assessed including previous U.S. Nationals sites, Sherman-Denison, Texas, and Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The Board directed Bob and his team to further explore and personally visit the top three candidates which were Salina, Kansas, Great Bend, Kansas, and Lawrence, Kansas. The team met with airport and city officials at those locations, local fire departments, and convention and visitor bureaus.
February 15, 2019
The IAC Board of Directors met by teleconference to review the detailed report. Following Bob’s presentation and upon the recommendation of his working group, the Board voted unanimously to select Salina, Kansas, as the location for the 2019 U.S. Nationals. The contest dates have been confirmed for Saturday, September 21 through Friday, September 27th.
Bob and the working group cited a number of reasons why the Salina Regional Airport, Salina, Kansas, location came out on top. The former Schilling Air Force Base, Salina Regional Airport has hosted a number of large aviation events including the National Intercollegiate Flying Association’s SAFECON national championships, the U.S. Military Jaded Thunder exercise with over 1300 participants, which joins personnel from the U.S. military, the National Guard, and foreign troops for a two-week operation.
An event the size of the U.S. Nationals which attracts nearly 100 pilots needs a lot of space and Salina provides that in excess with their 606 Hangar, which has 39,000 square feet to house all the contest aircraft and 14,000 square feet of office space for briefings, registration, scoring, conferences, and merchandise sales. The town itself has many hotel options, branded chain accommodations, and a wide variety of national and locally owned restaurants, car rental options, and more.
The U.S. Nationals participants will enjoy nice fall weather in Salina with 65 flyable hours (based on a 5 year average) and an aerobatic box which allows all boundary markers and judges to be on airport property. Of particular importance is that the Salina Airport already has assisted the site review team in finding the optimum location for the aerobatic box and this towered airport will allow simultaneous and uninterrupted contest operation with an active runway.
The survey team believes that Salina, Kansas is a very favorable location with a lot of support and resources willing and capable of hosting Nationals in 2019 and beyond. We are looking forward to a great U.S. Nationals in Salina and hope to see you all there!
IAC members may review the presentation made to the board by going to the member only section under the Governance Docs>Board Meeting Minutes & Documents.