Nationals 2021 - News and Updates

2021 U.S. National Aerobatic Championships

Photo Gallery * Video


Friday, September 24, 2021

The last flight of the competition was the 4-Minute Free on Friday, September 24, in the afternoon. The skies were overcast and there was a pretty stiff wind, but not enough to keep the competitors on the ground or affect a crowd of over 65 gathered at Fossett Plaza in front of Avflight. There was excitement in the crowd and on the judges’ line. Contest Director Doug Bartlett invited a civilian population to test their critical eye against the Nationals judges. Among them was Brennon Hayden, our youngest aerobatic judge wannabe, who has been studying the rulebook all year and sitting on the judges’ line as a recorder for every contest he has attended this summer.

The public viewing area at the plaza saw Lorrie and Gordon Penner, along with Hollywood Hayden, handing out programs and describing the IAC and aerobatic competition to the locals. Six pilots competed for the Bob Schnuerle Trophy, presented to the highest-scoring competitor in the 4-Minute Free program at the U.S. Nationals.

The crowd was fascinated and very appreciative of the excellent flying they were witnessing. Again, Rob Holland reigned supreme and won the 4-Minute Free program for the 10th time. Craig Gifford placed second and Jim Bourke placed third.

The Friday night awards banquet was held at Tony's Pizza Event Center. After dinner the award presentation began with introductions of local dignitaries from the City of Salina, the Chamber of Commerce and the Salina Airport Authority. National's sponsors were recognized and the nationals volunteer staff. 

Awards were presented to the Primary Power competitors by Chief Judge Tony Wood. The Sportsman Glider and Power awards were presented by Chief Judge Peggy Riedinger.

1st place - Dylan Beal 83.12%
2nd place - Sean Mopran 82.33%
3rd place - Daniel Shanahan 81.44%
Sportsman Champion-Michael Hoy 86.85%
2nd place - John Gregg 84.54%
3rd place - Phillip Gragg 84.08%
Sportsman Glider Champion-Sean Moran 79.24%
2nd place - Andrew Dever  78.94%
3rd place - Dante Cyrus  75.21%
Scores for all competitors in the Power Categories can be found at:  
Scores for all competitors in the Glider Categories can be found at: 
Awards were presented to the Intermediate Power and Glider competitors by Chief Judge Tony Wood.
Intermediate Champion - Michael Lents  84.57%
2nd place - Tom Rhodes  82.79%
3rd place - Craig Fitzgerald  80.97%
Intermediate Glider Champion - Shad Coulson  81.87%
2nd place - Jared Bachman  73.37%
3rd place - Andre Gerner  69.39% 
Scores for all competitors in the Power Categories can be found at:  
Scores for all competitors in the Glider Categories can be found at: 
Awards were presented to the Advanced Power and Glider competitors by chief judge DJ Molny.
Advanced Champion - Matt Dunfee  77.48%
2nd place - Marty Flournoy  75.921%
3rd place - Tom Rybarczyk  74.32%
Advanced Glider Champion - Jonathan Roe 74.16%
2nd place - Jacob Szymanski  71.06%
3rd place - Matthew Kuczajda  67.42%
Scores for all competitors in the Power Categories can be found at:  
Scores for all competitors in the Glider Categories can be found at: 
Awards were presented to the Unlimited Power competitors by chief judge Hector Ramirez.
Unlimited Champion - Rob Holland  82.23%
2nd place - Jeff Boerboon  75.55%
3rd place - Jim Bourke  73.29%
1st place - Rob Holland  84.22%
2nd place - Craig Gifford  75.28%
3rd place - Jim Bourke  75.00%
Scores for all competitors in the Power Categories can be found at:  
Scores for all competitors in the Glider Categories can be found at: 
The following awards were presented by IAC President Jim Bourke. The Safety Award was presented by Keith Doyne, IAC Safety Committee Chair.
The Highest Scoring Biplane
Medallion sponsored by Aviat 
Phillip Gragg | 84.08% | Pitts S-2A
Grass Roots Medallion and American 
Champion Aircraft Medallion 
Michael Lents | 84.57% | Bellanca 8KCAB 
Highest Scoring Collegiate Sportsman 
Power or Glider sponsored by "Fly Cool Sh*t" 
Dylan Beal | 83.11% | ACA Super D
Chuck Alley Old Buzzard Trophy 
Highest scoring competitor over 65 
Dick Swanson | 79.01%
The Goodrich Trophy
Highest scoring non - U.S. Citizen
Juliana Fraschetti | Brazil | 85.51%
The John Sarafin Trophy
Highest Scoring glider pilot in a Free Program
Andrew Dever | 81.06% | Sportsman Glider
The Betty Skelton Trophy
Highest scoring female
U.S. Citizen in Unlimited 
Melissa Burns | 64.45%
The Nationals Safety Award 
Presented to individual(s) contributing most
to safety at the championship 
Dale Byrkit & Doug Vayda - Starters
Recognition Service Award
For his many years of service to the IAC
Contest Director Doug Bartlett
President Emeritus, and past Treasurer 

The Chapter Team Trophy
Presented to the top scoring IAC chapter at the U.S. Nationals
IAC Chapter 78 - Minnesota
Top three chapter members average scores;
Daniel Shanahan  81.34%
Nathan Ruedy       82.95%
Michael Lents        84.57%
Overall percentage  82.95%
Honorable Mention to:
IAC Chapter 12 with an overall percentage of 82.67%
IAC Chapter 24 with an overall percentage of 81.23%

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Thursday was a big day for a lot of Unknowns. Advanced power flew the Free Unknown 1, Advanced Gliders flew their Unknown and Unlimited flew the Free Unknown II for U.S. Aerobatic Team Selection.

The Advanced Glider Unknown was a challenge for most, but Joseph Gerner flew his best flight of the day, to a first-place finish with a score of 82.71 percent. Matthew Kucazajda held onto second, and Lt. Col. Roe finished third in the Unknown. When the day was done, Lt. Col. Roe claimed the title of U.S. National Advanced Glider Champion with an overall score of 74.16%; Jacob Szymanski came in second and Matthew third.

After having finished first in the Free, Matt Dunfee was in front of the pack at the start of the Advanced Free Unknown. When he finished in 6th he had to wait to see if his previous high score would carry him through and keep him in first overall. Mike Gallaway was the highest placing competitor in the Unknown with 79.23%, Luke Penner placed second with 77.77% and Chris Combs third with 76.28%.As the score were posted Matt was pleased to find that he remained in first place and was crowned the U.S. National Advanced Power Champion with a total over all score of 77.48%. Second place went to  Marty Flournoyand Third went to Thomas Rybarczyk.​ 

Luke Penner flew beautifully in the Advanced Power category, actually outscoring Marty. However, this is the U.S. National Championships, and as a non-U.S. citizen Luke, who is Canadian, could not claim the second-place national trophy. He did, however, pick up a third-place flight medal in the Known and a second-place flight medal in the Unknown.

To finish out the afternoon, The Unlimited Power competitors flew the Free Unknown II. The top 8 competitors with an overall score of 65% to qualify for a team slot. Seven Unlimited competitors qualified for the team; Rob Holland (team captain), Jeff Boerboon, Jim Bourke, Craig Gifford, John Wacker, Aaron McCartan, Steve Grohsmeyer. Since only seven qualified there will be an announcement about the make up of the team after the Fall Board meeting in November. As he had the previous flights, Rob landed first place with an 82.23%, Jeff in second with 78.84% and Jim Bourke in third with 75.82%. Rob Holland comes away from Nationals as a 10-time U.S. National Unlimited aerobatic champion!

Thursday evening was the Flight Medal Dinner. Held at the Hilton Garden Inn, it was a fun relaxed evening for everyone. Contest Director Doug Bartlett welcomed everyone and made introductions; from the Salina Chamber of Commerce President Eric Brow and  sales manager JoAnn McClure. He also introduced Stanley Weilert, President of S & B Motels, Inc. (Hilton Garden Inn), who presented a special award from the Hilton. Mr. Weilert came out to Hangar 606 the previous day to take a look at all the airplanes and make a decision on which airplane would receive the Hilton's award for Best Aerobatic Aircraft. Not only did the plane have to be eye catching, but it had to have a good story.

Dagmar Kress received the Hilton award for her new Extra NG. Her story is touching; as a young woman she knew she wanted to become a pilot. Her father wasn't crazy about the idea and said that sort of thing just wasn't done. After she left Germany to come to the United States she immediately got into aviation. Nothing would stop her from achieving her dream of becoming a pilot. She went many steps further though, Dagmar has many initials behind her name ATP,CFI, CFII, MEI. She has been a flight instructor for 36 years and she has been a member of the German National Aerobatic Team three times; 1994, 1996, and 2013. She currently teaches classes at Metropolitan State University Denver in their Aerospace/Aviation Department. She is the coach of the MSU aerobatic competition team.  While visiting her father in Germany last year, she told him that she was going to buy her own plane. She was surprised when her father told her how proud he was of her and that she wasn't going to buy a plane - he would buy it for her.  Watch the Wonder Women of Aviation podcast, to hear more about Dagmar.


Wednesday, September 22, 2021

The contest returned to the original schedule with Intermediate power Frees and Intermediate glider flying their Unknowns. Continuing their close scores, Tom Rhodes clinched first place in the freestyle with a score of 86.85% and Mike Lents earned a second with this score of 85.57%. With a strong performance Brittanee Lincoln gave the guys a run for their money with a score of 83.64% and landed her in third.

Meanwhile,  Intermediate glider leader Shad Coulson flew his best flight yet in the Unknowns with a score of 83.40%. Andre Gerner also flew his best flight of the contest with a 78.16%. Not to be left out of doing his best of the contest on the Unknown Matt Bell moved up from 7th place to get a third place in the Unknown with a score of 77.88%.

The Primary competitors continued their high scoring ways and saw Daniel Shanahan score 81.87% in the Free sequence for a first place flight medal. Very close behind in second was Dylan Beal with 81.36% and Sean Moran with 80.95% in third.

In the Sportsman Power Free, Michael Hoy continued to to score in the 80s this time with a score of 87.69% However after a slow start in seventh place in the Known in her Extra 300, Brazilian Juliana gave him a run for his money by winning first-place in the Free with a score of 88.30%. Flying a Pitts S-2A Phillip Gragg earned another third place finish with a score of 85.82%.

The Sportsman Glider Free found Dante Andrew Dever scoring his best flight of the week with a score of 81.06% to place first. Dante Cyrus finished second with 79.96% followed by Sean Moran who came in third with 78.18%.

The Unlimited Power Free Unknown 1 was briefed mid-morning by Unlimited Chief Judge Hector Ramirez. For those unfamiliar with the Free Unknowns, the Unlimited pilots had submitted individual figures from the top ten scoring competitors in the Known program back on Monday. The figures were reviewed for legality and the Contest Jury publishes them as soon as possible after a Figure Submission meeting. Sequences consist of no more than 14 figures (the 10 figures submitted and approved along with "connector" figures to help move the sequence around the aerobatic box). With the approved figures in hand, the competitors spend some time putting them into a sequence. The contest jury accepts the sequences and reviews them again to verify all criteria has been met. At least 12 hours before the start of the Unknown flight, the competitors notify the Contest Director which unique sequence they will fly. To the right is the most popular sequence chosen by the Unlimited competitors for this Free Unknown 1. You can see video of this flight on Facebook here.

Rob Holland stayed dominant in first place through the Free Unknown 1 with a score 82.65%. Still hanging tight in second place, Jeff Boerboon scored 75.59% and Craig Gifford moved up from 6th position with a score of 73.18% for a third place finish in the Unknown.


Left: Jeff Boerboon

Center: Rob Holland

Right: Craig Gifford







Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Tuesday turned out to be a great day for the glider pilots to catch up and get back on schedule. The Intermediate gliders were up first. Shad Coulson continued his lead with a beautiful freestyle sequence that scored 80.21% . U.S. Air Force Academy cadet  Alexander Presley moved up from 7th place to win a silver flight medal with his Freestyle score of 70.23%, followed by fellow cadet, Jared Bachman with a 69.33%.

Pictured (Top right) Shad and Jared with their first and third flight medals.
Sportsman Glider pilots included Sean Moran, who also flew Primary Power later. Sean finished the Sportsman Glider Known flight in first place in an MDM Fox with a score of 78.91%, closely followed by U.S. Air Force cadet Patrick Koenig in second with a score of 78.55%  and Andrew Dever in third with a score of 77.87%, both flying the academy’s gliders.  (photos right, below - Sean in red hoodie)

During the Sportsman Glider Freestyle, Andrew surpassed Sean’s performance and clinched first place with a score of 81.06 percent, and Dante Cyrus finished second with 79.96%. Sean was still in the hunt, though, and earned the bronze with 78.18%. 

The Advanced Glider pilots were also able to fly on Tuesday. Lt. Col. Jonathan Roe flew the U.S. Air Force Academy MDM Fox to first place in the Known with a score of 76.38 %. He was followed by civilian pilot Joseph Gerner, also flying a Fox with a score of 74.29 %. Cadet Jacob Szymanski came in third at 71.91%.  (pictured below)











Monday, September 20, 2021

Everyone arrived at the briefing ready to go at 0700. Unfortunately mother nature had other ideas and the contest officials were forced to call for a delay due to high winds. Eventually the wind calmed down enough to  for the Advanced and Unlimited power competitors to get back in the air and late in the afternoon the Sportsman power pilots were able to fly as the winds calmed. The Sportsman and Advanced glider pilots had to sit out the day.

The Advanced power pilots did a great job of flying the Knowns in less than desirable conditions, but their scores showed the effort they were making. Beside the top three finishers in the Known, the rest of the competitors had to settle for scores in the 60 percent and under range. Marty Flournoy in his MX2 came out on top in the known with a score of 75.86% followed by Matt Dunfee in his Extra 330SC with a score of 73.22% and Luke Penner in an Extra 300L placed third with a score of 71.76%












The Unlimited power pilots jumped into their freestyle program With Rob continuing to lead the pack by a good margin. He scored 84.07%, followed by Jeff Boerboon with a 78.93% score and Jim Bourke (Pictured) with in third with a 77.98% score.

Late afternoon winds had died down enough to allow the 20 Sportsman competitors to fly their Known sequence. Mike Hoy came out strong with a score of 86.35% in the Known flying his homebuilt Monosport 360. Joshua Gregg wasn't far behind with a score of 83.71% flying the MSU Aerobatic Team's Super Decathlon. In a very close third was Phillip Gragg flying his beautifully restored 1971 Pitts S-2A to a score of 83.05%,








Sunday, September 19, 2021

After the opening ceremony and briefing, Starter Daly Byrkit and assistant starter Doug Vayda lined up the Unlimited competitors in two lines on the ramp in front of Hangar 606. When scores starting coming in they were noticeably lopsided with a score of 82.84 percent posted for Rob Holland in the Known, the closest challengers were Goody Thomas with a 73.58 percent and Jeff Boerboon with a 71.89 percent. 

Intermediate Power followed the Unlimited category on opening day. Mike Lents successfully won first in the Known sequence flying his Super Decathlon scoring 84% against second-place finisher Craig Fitzgerald flying an Extra 300L  who scored 83.12% and third-place finisher Tom Rhodes flying his CAP 232 scoring 81.33%.









The Intermediate Glider pilots were up next and saw first-time Nationals competitor Shad Coulson dominate the category. He set the tone in the Known sequence by scoring 80.21% in his Swift S-1. Andre Gerner placed second with 75.00% and U.S. Air Force cadet Jared Bachman followed in third with 75.00%.











The Primary Power pilots were a high-scoring bunch, with the top four pilots all scoring consistently throughout every flight in the 80s. In the Known sequence Dylan Beal finished in first with a score of 87.03%, Sean Moran came in second with 82.35% and Mikaila Gillis was third with 81.67%. Pictured right with their flight medals.

A little plug here for the IAC Achievement Award program - out of the nine Primary competitors six of them earned their Primary Stars award.

The award was conceived in 1970 by Verne Jobst, IAC president at the time and the 2020 inductee into the IAC Hall of Fame. Stars awards are earned by flying competition aerobatics at an IAC sanctioned contest. The program also presents Smooth awards to those flying a designated set of figures in front of a judge or a qualified CFI who gives them a qualifying grade in a non-contest environment. 




September 19, 2021

The opening ceremony and first briefing of the U.S. National Aerobatic Championships took place this morning at 1100 central, in Salina Kansas. Shelli Swanson, Director of Administration and Finance from the Salina Airport Authority declared the Nationals OPEN!.

First up today are the Unlimited competitors. A total of The flying schedule can be found here: . Times and flight order may change based on local conditions, so we will be updating the schedule nightly.

Scores will be posted as they become available here; For Power: and for Gliders














Photo by Gary Schenaman

September 2, 2021

It is less than two weeks until Nationals - the volunteers of the IAC will start to assemble in Salina to prepare the grounds for the 2021 U.S. National Aerobatic Championships. The purpose of this bulletin is to highlight some areas of interest to pilots competing at the event.

For more detailed information, click on the Bulletin #1 link below. There you will find more detailed information regarding hotels, rental cars, and all things Nationals. 




August 26, 2021

Please be advised that the organizers for the U.S. National Aerobatic Championships are monitoring daily developments in Salina, Saline County, Kansas for COVID-19 infection rates and guidelines updates.  The organizers will abide by the state and county guidelines.
As of August 23, the update for Saline County was 35 new cases identified and reported by the health department. 166  variants were identified in 290 samples.
At this time there is no mask mandate for Saline County. The organizers will have hand sanitizers available to all participants and the county recommendations posted inside Hangar 606.

The following are the current recommendations by the Saline County Health Department. We will bear these recommendations in mind. You may see others wearing masks, especially in the registration area since it is an indoor venue.


  • Stay home if you are sick.
  •  Get tested if you feel unwell, even if you don’t believe it is COVID. You can find testing centers at or contact your local medical provider.
  • Get vaccinated. You can find a vaccine at or contact your local medical provider.
  • Wear a mask, especially if you are not fully vaccinated. If you are fully vaccinated, wear a mask when in-doors in crowded spaces.
  • Maintain at least 6 feet of distance between yourself and those with whom you do not live.
  • Do not travel to “hot spots."
  • If you test positive, isolate immediately and be open and honest with COVID caseworkers about your contacts.
We are monitoring the following websites;


August 23, 2021


To:       Advanced and Unlimited Pilots
From:  2021 U.S. Nationals Contest Director
Subj:    P&P 503 U.S. National Aerobatic Championships
Part of becoming a National Champion is a clear understanding of the rules that apply on a given situation.  It is the responsibility of the pilot to read and understand those rules.  Please read the IAC Contest Rules 2021 and all Policy and Procedures that apply to the U.S. National Aerobatic Championships.  These are listed on the IAC website.
Please pay special attention to P&P 503.4.3.4 which states…”Free Unknown figures must be chosen from the appropriate section of the CIVA rule book…….”.   A link to the CIVA rule book has been added to the Nationals web page.
If you have not flown under CIVA rules or have never been on a U.S. Aerobatic Team, you may find a surprised or two such as:  a tailslide is allowed in Advanced Unknowns and a snap on the ascending vertical line prior to a tailslide is allowed in Unlimited Unknowns.  There may be others. 
It is your responsibility to read and understand all rules.
I wish everyone a fun and safe contest with all 10’s.
Doug Bartlett
U.S. Nationals Contest Director

CIVA Sporting Code SC6 Part 1    









August 17, 2021

Volunteers continue to prepare for Nationals with monthly teleconferences. Meet the planning team and some of the Nationals officials;

Doug Bartlett, Contest Director Justin Hickson, Assist. CD                       Lynn Bowes, Hospitality                                 
Lorrie Penner, U.S. Nationals Treasurer Steve Kurtzahn, IAC Executive Director Alice Johnson, Volunteer Coordinator
Liza Weaver, Registrar Teri Branstittre, Scoring Director Monique Hartmann, Communications Director
Keith Doyne, Safety Director Dale Byrkit, Starter Gary DeBaun, Practice Day Box master
DJ Molny, Chief Judge - Advanced Category Hector Ramirez, Chief Judge - Unlimiited Category Peggy Riedinger, Chief Judge, Primary/Sportsman Categories
Tony & Julia Wood, Chief Judge team for Intermediate category Debby Rihn-Harvey, Jury Chief Steve Johnson, Assist. Jury Chief






June 15, 2021

Beginning today, pre-registration is available for the U.S. National Aerobatic Championships at: . IAC member login required.
Who should register? Pilots competing in the championships and all volunteers. Volunteers include any of our pre-planning group, judges, assistant judges, boundary judges, recorders and office helpers at registration or scoring.
For pilots, the contest fees have not changed from those in 2019;
$235 Collegiate
$260 Primary Power
$310 Active Military 
$460 Sportsman through Unlimited Power and Glider
$100 4-Minute
$100 Hangar – flat fee for September 16 through September 25
Included in the contest fee: All flights will be video-taped and made available to all pilots. All pilots will receive a Nationals shirt and coffee and doughnuts daily. NEW THIS YEAR – your banquet ticket to the awards dinner on Friday, September 24 is included in the contest fee at no additional charge.
Pre-registered volunteers will also receive coffee and doughnuts daily, and an awards banquet ticket as well as a Nationals T-shirt at no charge.  Thank you to Game Composites, LLC for sponsoring the awards banquet.  
SECURE your practice slot through the new automated online system. When POWER pilots  register online and pay the entry fees you will be directed to a link that takes you to the practice slot page to pick one time slot. WARNING: ALL TIMES ARE UTC. Please convert to CDT before you choose a slot. A conversion chart is coming soon.
Each time slot is 10 minutes in duration and is available for all day Friday, Saturday and half day on Sunday. (September 17, 18, 19.)  
Civilian GLIDER pilots - register and pay as normal, but time slots have been set aside for you and are under Jason Stephens name, IAC Glider Program Chairman. Same goes for USAF Academy pilots - time slots have been set aside under Mark Matticola's name.
Unofficial Practice on Thursday, September 16 will be given on a first come-first-served basis. Box Master Gary DeBaun will be onsite to assign these and any open slots that weren’t chosen during the online registration for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Prior to anyone getting into the box, pilots will be required to:
1)  Sign the Practice Waiver
2)  Sign the Contest Waiver
3)  Complete the Tech Inspection
4)  Sign the Liability Waiver
Thank you to the following for sponsoring the pilot and volunteer Nationals shirts:

Thank you, the following IAC chapters, for sponsoring the morning coffee and doughnuts!
IAC Chapter 36                      IAC Chapter 1
IAC Chapter 24                      IAC Chapter 34
IAC Chapter 78                      IAC Chapter 67
IAC Chapter 77                      IAC Chapter 80
IAC Chapter 12                      IAC Chapter 35
IAC Chapter  5                       IAC Chapter 15
IAC Chapter 61                      IAC Chapter 23



June 10, 2021

Hotels and Car Rentals

The nationals planning team has arranged discounts at three Salina hotels; Hilton Garden Inn (Official Hotel of the U.S. National Aerobatic Championships), Hampton Inn, and Courtyard by Marriott.

All three hotels have a discount rate of $99/night w/o tax. Please use the direct phone numbers and discount code provide on the Nationals Hotel webpage.

COVID-19 hit the rental car industry hard in 2020. They are still recovering, but we were able to make arrangements with a local Kansas auto dealership, Lewis Automotive, who purchased some rental cars from one of the companies that filed bankruptcy.

Please follow directions on renting these cars, it is very important to secure a good rate. If you go direct online with a car company you will not recieve a deal as good as the one we've made with Lewis Automotive. See all the details on the Car Rental webpage



May 14, 2021

Fuel discount - AVFlight is offering a discount of $0.25 per gallon from September 16 through September 25. Pilots are requested to pre-register prior to arrival with AVFlight by completing and emailing the provided form to:



April 15, 2021

Online registration for pilots and volunteers will open on June 15 at:  Contests | International Aerobatic Club (

Unofficial practice days with open slots, first come first serve, are September 16-17, Thursday and Friday. Pilots must be pre-registered or register on site for these practice slots. ALL PILOTS WILL READ AND SIGN THE PRACTICE WAIVER  AND YOUR AIRCRAFT MUST BE TECH'D  BEORE ENTERING THE BOX.

OFFICIAL practice days are September 18-19, Saturday and part of Sunday. To secure a confirmed time slot, pilots must be pre-registered and have paid their entry fee online. The process to pick a time slot is automated this year. After payment you will be directed to a web page to choose an available time slot.

GLIDER STORAGE: Hangar 703 was not available this year. Gliders will be hangared in H509. (on the other side of H600, which is next to Nationals HQ at H606).


News: Early Information

March 22, 2021

Preparations are well underway for the 2021 U.S. National Aerobatic Championships scheduled to be held 19-24 September. We anticipate a record turnout for 2021 Nationals! While much is left to be done, the Contest Director Doug Bartlett and his advance-prep team of Assistant CD Justin Hickson, Lorrie Penner, Steve Kurtzahn, and Lynn Bowes are releasing some preliminary information to help everyone in early planning. 

Please understand that COVID can change any of these plans so we remain flexible as we work through the initial stages. We don't want to book a venue for a meal or event and find that it won't be available come September. Let's roll with it, please!

  • The official contest dates are Sunday 19 September through Friday 24 September.
  • U.S. Nationals will be held on the Salina Municipal Airport.
  • Contest HQ for registration and all things Nationals-related is Hangar 606.
  • The aerobatic box will open on Thursday 16 September through the start of contest. Info regarding practice slots will be provided at a later date.
  • Early arrivals prior to Thursday will be directed to Schilling Aviation Services / AVFlight for hangar space and will make their own arrangements. Hangar 606 will NOT be open OFFICIALLY until Thursday.
  • Competitors shall make their own arrangements for early practice or training camps at other local airports. Neither IAC nor the organizers of the U.S. Nationals will be making arrangements for other practice sites and the aerobatic box at Salina will not open until Thursday.

Lynn has visited Salina and is making arrangements for:

  • Dry Creek Buffalo Ranch to provide a food truck during the week,
  • a cash bar mixer at the Hilton Garden Inn, Sunday evening on the patio and reception bar area,
  • a Taco Tuesday / Smoke Oil / Starter party in H606 after flying,
  • the Medal Awards Dinner Thursday at the Hilton Garden Inn,
  • and the Awards Banquet Friday with location to be determined.

Official U.S. Nationals HQ hotel is the Hilton Garden Inn. 3320 South 9th Street, Salina, Kansas 67401 - 785.823.9800 | The contest organizers have blocked 20 rooms at $99/night. Make your reservation online or call direct. Use RATE CODE : PILOT

Other hotels blocked for the room rate of $99/night

  • Hampton Inn - 401 West Schilling Road - 785.823.9800 RATE CODE : PILOT
  • Courtyard by Marriott - 3020 Riffel Dr, 785.309.1300 RATE CODE : PILOT

For other area hotels, were we have found offer participants points or military, AAA, AARP rates.

  • Holiday Inn - 3145 South 9th Street - 785.404.6767
  • Comfort Suites - 715 West Schilling Road - 785.404.6944
  • Fairfield Inn & Suites - 2455 Virginia Drive - 785.515.5333

RV Camping

Car rentals

  • information will be provided in a later announcement. Due to COVID-19, car rentals in Salina are very limited at this time. Pilots and volunteers will be encouraged to make preparations as early as possible.

​We have not yet been notified regarding team selection. Information will be posted when it becomes available.

Finally, please monitor the official U.S. Nationals webpages: HERE and the nationals' Facebook page: HERE

If you have specific questions, please call or email.

Doug Bartlett, U.S. National Aerobatic Championships Contest Director

847.875.3339 |




November 20, 2020

At the IAC's Fall Board Meeting, November 14, 2020, the location and dates of the 2021 U.S. National Aerobatic Championships and contest director were approved by the IAC Board of Directors. The championships will return to Salina, Kansas, September 19-24, 2021, and Doug Bartlett IAC #431228 was approved as the Contest Director. 
Doug joined IAC in 2003 and started competing that same year. While working his way up the competition ladder from Sportsman to Unlimited he served as contest director for several regional contests as well as for the 2007 U.S. National Aerobatic Championships when they were held in Texas. As a national judge, he served on the line at the 2018 nationals which were held in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
Doug flies a Sukhoi 29 in competition and is currently building an RV-14 that he intends on flying at the Sportsman level in 2021. He also enjoys the opportunity of training acro pilots at the primary through intermediate levels.
Along with some behind-the-scenes volunteers from past years, Doug has already begun the planning process for 2021. He has confirmed the championship dates with the Salina Airport and use of Hangar 606, which was the base of operation in 2019. He has the full support and encouragement of the IAC Board of Directors and we are looking forward to a successful event in September 2021.
Updates and details can be found on the Nationals webpages here;


News: 2020 U.S. National Aerobatic Championships are canceled

July 10, 2020

To our IAC members,

The IAC Board of Directors met by teleconference on Friday, 10 July 2020, to discuss the 2020 U.S. National Aerobatic Championships scheduled to be held in Salina, Kansas, 20-24 September 2020.

After much research, debate, and discussion with City of Salina officials and EAA leadership, the IAC Board of Directors has determined that it will be in the best interest of the safety of all who attend our U.S. Nationals that our premier event is cancelled for 2020.

We regret having this decision to make and believe that with safety as our focus in all matters of our sport, to continue without knowing what mid-September will bring in terms of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic would be irresponsible. The “go/no go” date was moved ahead because we believe that IAC members deserve to know as early as possible so that they can make other plans with family, business, and school.

As much as anyone, IAC leaders don’t like being forced to make the decision to cancel by situations out of our control. With the daily and weekly uptick changes nationwide and Kansas’ own infection figures from the coronavirus, there was no question that this is the right move for IAC, the City of Salina, and you. Kansas’ requiring a 14-day quarantine of visitors from other high-risk states figured heavily into our decision with many of our pilots and volunteers coming from Florida, Arizona, New York, and others affected.

We realize that this decision will be met with frustration but we firmly believe that this is the responsible thing to do. With the support of EAA leadership behind us, we know that this is the right decision and with our members’ continued support, we look forward to 2021 and years of competition and friendship beyond.

Best to all,

Robert Armstrong, President

and your IAC Board of Directors


Happy 4th of July.  Bulletin No. 1 for the 2020 US National Aerobatic Championships is now available:

The executive summary:

  • Contest starts Saturday, September 19 with a 5 pm all pilot briefing.  The contest concludes Thursday evening September 24.  See below.
  • We have shortened the contest one day compared to 2019.
  • COVID 19 considerations are in Annex 1 of the Bulletin.  We will monitor the situation and will make the final go-no go date no later than 10 August 2020.  The annex offers anticipated guidelines for contest operations.
  • Entry fees are fully refundable and the same as 2019.  We are providing three on field dinner events this year as part of the entry fee versus only one last year.
  • Please register online. Once the go-no go decision is made payment must be made to reserve your practice time slot. First to register is a tie breaker if funds come in simultaneously for practice slots.
  • With your entry fee received, we will schedule your practice slot on a first paid, first served basis.  We may have daylight for two flights as we have 132 practice slots available on Friday and Saturday. More details are in the Bulletin 1 in section 6.0 on page 10.
  • Based on the revised CIVA schedule, we will not have an Unlimited Team selection this year.  That will happen in 2021.  The Advanced Team selected in 2019 for 2020 will be unchanged for 2021.  We will try have a fourth flight for the Advanced team on Thursday if time permits.
  • We are working to develop an east hold for the gliders. 
  • We shifted the box east 200 yards. 
  • New traffic flows for the contest are in the bulletin including the gliders on the east side of the box.  Check them out and provide any feedback to the CD.
  • Schedule overview is as follows.



June 16, 2020

Dear Pilots, Volunteers and IAC Supporters:

It would be silly to predict the future, now more than ever.  However, I can offer a fact-based summary of where we currently are in regard to the 2020 US National Aerobatic Championships in Salina, KS scheduled for September 20-25. IAC Secretary Lynn Bowes and I met in person and Executive Director Steve Kurtzahn attended by phone with the Salina Airport Authority (SAA) personnel, a Salina Chamber of Commerce representative and tower operations on June 17, 2020.

First and foremost, we will comply with the appropriate Public Health Orders based on Kansas state’s monitoring of testing rates, COVID-19 hospitalizations, ability to contact trace and availability of personal protective equipment (PPE).  The current forecast in the  Saline County Plans for Reopening(link is external) is an allowance for public gatherings by September with no size restrictions.  SAA indicated that there are two large events scheduled in July and August at the airport.  Organizers for those events are monitoring the on-going situation leading up to their events. If these events do take place, the IAC will consult with the SAA on “lessons learned” from those events. Our own “IAC contest guidance” in September will be a step up from what is required by the county’s plan.  Who would have thought registrations fees would include a mask, but they will!

The Nationals organizers continue with planning and will be ready when and if conditions allow. We have shifted the aerobatic box east ~200 yards to improve judge’s viewing, radio communications, and create a better center box marker on green grass versus the runway. We have secured hangar 606 again this year and hangar 703 is available for gliders and overflow/transients. The aerobatic box waivers are in process at the Wichita FSDO.  Planning continues on track with regards to programs, t-shirts, trophies, other collateral, hotels and food.

A decision on holding Nationals will be no later than August 10.  This time frame gives us a month to get everything on site and have a better idea of the level of participation.  I have emailed all of the 2019 Nationals pilots to gauge their intentions and help answer questions and concerns.

To help people make a more informed decision, clear guidance will be published on how we intend to run Nationals.  The concept is to make sure all issues are considered and develop an executable plan within rational operating constraints. We want people to be comfortable and know the “lay of the land” before they decide to attend.   For example, items that we are considering and are in the planning stages:

·       Use of masks

·       Briefings to be held in the hangar or just outside the hangar (weather dependent). We plan to have an LCD wall and good audio for the hangar to help make this go smoothly.  

·       We will post orders of flights and results electronically on the large LCD and use the website to avoid congregating around 8 ½” x 11” pieces of paper taped to walls.

·       Clear north and south starting lines will be established on the ramps.

·       We will be respectful of the judge’s line arrangement, in regards to social distancing and/or PPE, with the assistants, recorders, and runners.

·       Transportation to and from the judge’s line to take place in smaller groups versus a crowded van.

·       There is a lot of space in Hangar 606 and plenty of tables so we can spread out for food events in the hangar more easily than we could crowd into a restaurant or other offsite venue. 

·      “Private workspaces” for the volunteers will be created upstairs to help them with social distancing. 

·       Hand sanitizer and disposable gloves will be readily available.

I am confident, as reopening guidelines continue to unfold, that the right decision will be straightforward and one that a majority of the IAC family can support. Safety for our IAC members is always our number one priority. We might not have as large a turn out as planned, and this may cause us to adjust the schedule, shaving a day off and sending you home on Friday versus Saturday. Below is the tentative schedule:










Version 1.0 of the bulletin will come out July 4, 2020. I personally am looking forward to seeing all of you in Salina in September at a safe and fun 2020 US Nationals!

Thank you. Be Safe,


Duncan Koerbel

2020 CD


May 8, 2020 - U.S. National Aerobatic Championships Update

At the IAC board of directors spring board meeting held April 25 by teleconference, contest director, Duncan Koerbel submitted an update on the status of planning for the U.S. Nationals scheduled for September 20-25.  Preparations are well under way.  Hangar 606 will be are home base again this year, jury chairman and chief judges have been selected and the core group of volunteers have signed up to help yet again!  Thank you all for volunteering!

There is a plan in place with decision dates for committing funds and ordering event materials etcetera. Duncan indicated there is not a rush to make a final decision about the U.S. Nationals.  Bulletin No. 1 will be published July 4, 2020! We are all excited to get regional contests going first! Duncan and the IAC leadership will continue monitoring regional events as well as the Kansas and Salina guidelines for COVID-19 restrictions.   The Go / No Go decision and any other major event modifications will be made sometime within the first ten days of August. Further updates will come through IAC official publications and the IAC website.







March 3, 2020
















November 6-7, 2019

At the IAC's Fall Board Meeting, Duncan Koerbel IAC #437649 was approved by the Board of Directors, as the Contest Director for the 2020 U.S. Nationals to be held in Salina, Kansas, 20-25 September 2020. Duncan served as the assistant contest director at the 2019 Nationals and was recommended highly by Ron Schreck board member and 2019  Nationals contest director.

Duncan is a member of IAC Chapter 12 in Colorado. He is an Advanced competitor in his Extra 300L. Duncan was the contest director for the 2019 Las Vegas IAC West Open Championship in Jean, Nevada. The site was chosen as a test run for the 2022 World Aerobatic Advanced Championships in which he will also act as contest director. Duncan has also served as contest director for the High Planes Hotpoxia Fest, and the Ben Lowell Aerial Confrontation. He brings a wealth of contest experience with him to the nationals CD position.

Along with some behind-the-scenes volunteers from past years, Duncan has already begun the planning process for 2020, working with the Salina Airport, Chamber of Commerce, and engaging local businesses around the airport. He has the full support and encouragement of the IAC Board of Directors and we are looking forward to a successful event in September 2020.



Enjoy this recap of all the spectacular fun from the 2019 U.S. National Aerobatic Championships in Salina!

PowerPoint Slideshow:

Slideshow PDF: