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Old 04-08-2018, 10:34 PM
RV8Squaz's Avatar
RV8Squaz RV8Squaz is offline
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Senoia, Georgia
Posts: 894
Default Snowbird Classic IAC contest PIREP

The 2018 contest season has gotten off to a good start!

We started off in March with a successful judge's school. I got recurrent and now it was time to start judging. I was hoping to start by judging either Primary or Intermediate. The problem was Primary was combined with Sportsman for this contest as it often is. So I wasn't permitted or able to judge the category since I am a Sportsman competitor. The Intermediate category was being flown just prior to my category so I wasn't able to judge it. So for my first judging experience as a qualified Regional Judge I got to judge the Advanced category! I was bit apprehensive about this since the competitors at this level are very serious and I didn't want to screw it up for anyone. Plus, the maneuvers happen very very fast, making it easy to miss important elements. You know what... the training worked! I was able to successfully judge in a fair objective manner consistent with the more experienced judges. I was as pleased with this as I was with my flying.

One of my goals this year was to compete for the first time with a FREE program of my own design. There's a lot to consider and learn when designing your own FREE program. I won't get into the gory details because there was an excellent article covering the subject in the most recent IAC Sport Aerobatics issue. The purpose of the FREE program is to give a competitor an opportunity to express one self while taking advantage of one's own capability and the capability of the aircraft. There are various guidelines in the rule book that must be adhered to when constructing a FREE. And there are many other tips to be learned from more experienced competitors and from the school of hard knocks. I chose the former!

Coming up with the FREE is harder than you might think. It's like a puzzle that must include required elements, add up to correct total points or K factor, have some opportunities to correct for possible crosswind, and finally include some degree of showmanship. Just when you think you have one, you go fly it, and throw the first iteration in the trash! You start over, make some changes and show it to your friends and mentors (Ron Shreck and Mark Fullerton). Then they tell you to throw it in the trash!!! Finally, after a lot of hard work and some more changes, you have something worthy of flying in front of the judges. After a few practice sessions you realize there is still some room for improvement and tweaking. Finally you end up with something to be proud of. So here it is:

A couple of the unique things in my FREE are Fig 1, and the amount of time spent inverted between Figs. 5 & 6. I also wanted to have a lot of opportunity to work the Y-axis of the box. Fig. 1 is a version of the Wedge or Shark's Tooth explained by Ron Shreck in another thread. I chose to do it this way because it's not something you typically see and I was pretty sure I could pull it off. I start from level and make a sharp pull of 135 deg to 45 deg inverted going up, then just prior to running out of steam, I pull to vertical down, and finally pull to level off. It's a fun figure to fly!

Here we are poised and ready to fly:

The other RV competitors that showed up were Randy King who competed in an RV-7A in Sportsman and Bill McLean. Randy had competed a couple of years ago and I was glad to finally meet him. Bill was planning on competing in Intermediate with his RV-4, but due to various factors including weather, he decided to drive down. Why you ask? Despite not being able to fly, Bill decided to drive to support his fellow competitors, see some friends, and selflessly volunteer as boundary judge for two days! What a guy!

Here's another great story from the contest. Some of you may remember when I loaned my airplane to Ron so that he could continue to compete after getting a flat in his airplane taxiing out for his last flight of the 2016 Fall Sebring contest. I want you to know, that that was not a unique situation in a contest. Charlie Sikes, a friend and fellow IAC chapter 3 member who normally flies a Pitts developed a problem with his push-to-talk switch. Another friend and competitor, Shaun Brautigan, competing in the same category as Charlie loaned him his several hundred thousand $ Extra for the competition. IAC rules allow a safety pilot under specific situations. Here's Charlie in the front pit and Shaun in the rear. I, along with others, helped them get situated so they wouldn't miss the opportunity. Charlie was skeptical about competing in an airplane he's never flown, but we encouraged him to do so. Talk about a quick checkout! Notice Charlie's intensity and focus in the picture! I wish I developed a problem with my PTT!

Here's the order of flight. Note there are a couple of friends sharing an Extra in Sportsman. Randy King in his friend's RV-7A, a bunch of Pitts's, a Decathlon, and even an EAA Biplane competed in the category.

I had a good flight on my first flight, the Known. I got a decent score of 79.05%, but I had too many minor deviations to be competitive among this group. I was in 5th place out of 10 competitors in Sportsman.

Then, later in the afternoon, I got to fly my FREE in front of the judges for the first time. I gave it everything I could extracting every bit of performance from my RV and me. To quote a line from the Jack Black movie School of Rock, "It will test your head, and your mind, and your brain, too." I flew well and was rewarded by the judges earning a core of 84.28%, the highest score I've ever gotten. That put it me in 1st place for the flight and moved me up to a final standing of 3rd place overall. The 3rd flight was cancelled for weather so that was the final standings.

Notice, the 2nd place winner was flying the lone Decathlon.

Here's the bling I got to bring home:

We had 35 competitors total. The contest was a huge success despite the weather on the last day. The US Advanced Team got to hone their skills in preparation for the World competition in Romania later this year. I wish them good luck and safe travels. And the awards banquet was fabulous that included a very tasty Cajun shrimp and sausage boil. Thanks to the IAC chapter 89 for hosting the event and all of the people that worked to make this event such a wonderful experience.
Jerry Esquenazi
RV-8 N84JE
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Old 04-08-2018, 11:57 PM
mbauer mbauer is offline
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Nikiski, AK
Posts: 461


Sounds like it was fun.

Best regards,
Mike Bauer
Mike Bauer
N999SN 1998 Syd Nelson RV-6 (purchased 2017)
UTC -09:00 Alaska
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Old 04-09-2018, 10:16 AM
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rv767 rv767 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 65

Congratulations Jerry
Neal RV-7 Flying--2020 VAF
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Old 04-09-2018, 01:34 PM
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WillyEyeBall WillyEyeBall is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Daleville, AL
Posts: 354
Thumbs up contest fun

My thumbs up too for the great flying by Jerry, Randy, and Ron. Here's a link to a new report that was made on the first day:
Of course Jerry's beautiful airplane caught the photographer's eye. It was a good time for all.

Bill McLean
RV-4 slider
lower AL
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Old 04-09-2018, 03:52 PM
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RV8Squaz RV8Squaz is offline
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Senoia, Georgia
Posts: 894

Thank you very much Mike, Neal, and Bill! It sure was fun. I?m looking forward to my next contest, the Carolina Boogie. It will be held in Wilson, NC on the 27 & 28 April. Ron Shreck and Bill McLean will be there as well.
Jerry Esquenazi
RV-8 N84JE
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Old 04-09-2018, 08:24 PM
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BCP Boys BCP Boys is offline
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Kennesaw, Ga
Posts: 879

Jerry! Congrats to you my friend. That is such great news. So happy for you. One of these days I'm going to have a the pleasure of watching you in action.
RV-7 - Regretfully Sold
RV-10 - Sold

Supporting VAF since the first visit
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Old 04-09-2018, 09:47 PM
RV8Squaz's Avatar
RV8Squaz RV8Squaz is offline
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Senoia, Georgia
Posts: 894

Thank you so much Amir! Hopefully you?ll be around for the Bear Creek Bash at RMG, June 8-9. I hope to see you there. Also, remember, we?re having the fly-in at FFC May 19th.
Jerry Esquenazi
RV-8 N84JE
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