Give Basic A Try

Posted by Ron Graham
Posted on 6/12/2016

SaugeenBack during the winter, when there was still plenty of snow on the ground, I was approached by Todd Martin from the Saugeen RC Flyers Club asking if I would be willing to organize a primer for pilots wanting to give the Basic sequence a try.  Todd had attended a similar session that I delivered two years ago at another club field, and he wanted to have a Basic day at the Saugeen Flyers field.

The Saugeen RC Flyers are located just a few minutes south of Hanover, Ontario, approximately an hour and a half north of Kitchener Waterloo.

With cooperative weather on May 28, eight enthusiastic pilots came out to learn more about IMAC and to have a try at flying the Basic sequence.  We started with an  introduction to IMAC, talked about Scale Aerobatics, a little bit about the requirements to get started and to explain the protocol for how to fly the sequence. Just enough to introduce the main concepts, but not to swamp our students with a large number of rules.  We then walked through the Basic sequence maneuver by maneuver, and described what judges would look for as the pilot flies the maneuvers.

I was fortunate to have Ken Graham accompany me to the Basic primer day. Ken is one of our local Basic pilots who has flown in several contests, and he is on the verge of moving up to Sportsman in the near future.  

Ken and I had decided we would leave our own IMAC planes at home and he brought his gas powered Four Star 120 to demonstrate the sequence.  We wanted to impress on our budding pilots that you can fly any one of the common fun flyer aerobatic planes to get started in IMAC.

The wind was strong, and of course blowing directly across the field, however Ken was determined to show off his rudder and wind correction skills, and bravely flew the Four Star through the sequence several times, to give our students a better appreciation for how to string the individual maneuvers together.

After that it was time for our participating pilots to give it a try, and approximately five of the eight attempted to fly the sequence.  We broke the sequence down into the first four maneuvers and let each pilot fly the figures with myself and Ken providing individual coaching and encouragement.  We worked on flying Humpty Bump’s and Reverse Half Cubans, which were new to our pilots, but each of them worked on flying straight lines and centering half rolls.

We then flew the next four maneuvers with armchair coaching and advice.  It was a challenge in the wind, however all the pilots seemed to enjoy working on improving their flying skills.  Several of them commented that this was just the nudge they needed to get involved in flying aerobatics.

We wrapped up the session by mid afternoon.  All participants expressed their gratitude  to the instructors. Several indicated that they were going to continue working on the Basic sequence and perhaps give a contest a try in the future.

If the opportunity presents itself, Basic Primer days are a great way to introduce interested pilots to IMAC. Not all pilots will continue on to participate in contests, but even if one or two new Basic pilots are created, then the effort is a rewarding and worthwhile one.

- submitted by Bill Teeter, ARD Ontario