The Best U.S. Aerobatic Pilots to Compete for National Championship
More than 100 of the nation’s most highly-skilled aerobatic pilots will contend in head-to-head competition for the U.S. National Aerobatic Championship title at the Grayson County Airport in Denison, TX, this month. The Championships will be held September 21-28 in Denison, which is one hour north of the Dallas metro area, and are organized by the International Aerobatic Club (IAC), the governing body for aerobatics in the United States.
The 2002 National Championships highlight the selection of the U.S. Unlimited Team members who will compete against top pilots from over 20 countries at the 2003 World Aerobatic Championships on the Sun ‘n Fun Fly-in Campus in Lakeland, FL, on June 25 – July 4, 2003.
On September 22, pilots will begin flying a series of preliminary compulsory flights. Competitors will be graded on technical ability against the other pilots throughout the week. The key feature on Friday, September 27, will be the Four-Minute Freestyle competition, where the top ten competitors will go head to head for the U.S. National title. The Four-Minute shows off both the pilots’ technical and artistic abilities. The flights are flown to musical accompaniment and smoke is used to create a lasting visual impression in the sky.
“Aerobatic competition can be likened to figure skating,” said Gerry Molidor, IAC president. “In aerobatic competition, pilots fly ‘compulsory’ flights that test their skill in front of a panel of trained judges. There are flights that are known and practiced well in advance by the pilots, flights that are unknown to the pilot’s until a few hours prior to the competition, and a freestyle program that tests not only a pilot’s skill, but also his/her artistic ability and presentation.”
“The Championships not only pick the US Unlimited Team for 2003 World Championships but also pick the best pilots in four other categories. From sportsman pilots to more advanced contenders as well as gliders, the U.S. Championships present the best precision flying in the nation,” Molidor said.
The International Aerobatic Club, a division of the Experimental Aircraft Association based in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, is the sole sanctioning authority of aerobatic activity in the United States. Over 50 aerobatic competitions are sanctioned annually by IAC. The membership organization has over 6,000 members nationwide and over 50 local chapters. For additional information the International Aerobatic Club, check its web site at www.iac.org.