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Redbook Review - May

Posted by tl3
Posted on 5/18/2017

Connecting the Dots  -  by Kevin Schmidt

I find the phrase "connecting-the-dots" rather amusing, and it reminds me of the connect-the-dot drawing books that we had as kids, or perhaps even our kids have now. I don't think they have 'connect- the-dots' on iPads, so our grandkids are going to miss out. To “connect-the-dots” means that through the practice of systematically linking a series of otherwise independent points are you able to create or see a picture in its entirety. Much the same can be said of an IMAC sequence. Each dot initiates an Aresti figure, but before each dot there resides an often overlooked criterion.  This criterion is the connecter from the previous figure to the next dot.

In last month’s Redbook Review, we pointed out that each sequence begins with a verbal declaration of the pilot starting, the first maneuver is judged after the wings break horizontal, and the maneuver ends when the aircraft flies one fuselage length after the final radius of the maneuver. But what happens next?

Between each geometric figure the judges are looking for deviations in the horizontal flight! Section 7, "Basic Components of Aerobatics" subsection 7.1 discusses what takes place between each maneuver. Every maneuver begins and ends in wings horizontal flight. What we did not mention in last month’s installment was what happens when that horizontal line is omitted. This is not an uncommon error in classes where new pilots may be entered without yet having attended any formal judge’s or aerobatics instruction. I've seen this often with new pilots that rush their way through the sequence, but it can alsoimage occur with more experienced pilots who run out of room during a cross box maneuver. If there is no line after the radius that completes one maneuver and no line prior to the radius into the next maneuver, there must be a deduction. The specific rule that applies in this case is the omitted line penalty. Omitted lines most commonly happen when a roll element is severely off center (no line before or after), but there are other places within a sequence where this error can arise. In the case of a continuous radius from one figure to the next, there are two omitted lines. All figures both begin and end with a distinct horizontal line. In the above scenario, the first figure has an omitted horizontal exit line while the second has an omitted entry line. Each omitted line carries a one (1) point deduction; therefore both the first and second figure must each be deducted by one (1) point.

As judges, we should look for the dot (beginning) a horizontal line that is at least one fuselage length, the ending and the beginning of the next maneuver, which is the next dot. How smooth we connect the dots is the dance that we are doing while flying our sequence or how well a pilot is doing as we judge the sequence. We should be able to easily determine the ending and beginning of maneuvers and a horizontal line between figures.

Quick Quiz: How many points must be deducted when a line contains an element which is required to be centered, and there is no line either before or after the roll element?

April Quick Quiz Answer:

“An attempt begins when the pilot or caller makes a vocal declaration such as “In the box,” “Entering,” or a similar statement indicating when the pilot is starting the sequence.

Rules Review

It’s time for a quick review on something that has been a hot topic of conversation lately: Turn-around figures. I will be the first to admit that many of the rules in our rule-book leave open the door to creative interpretations. Rule 13.5 is no exception. Be that as it may, we have taught for many years a particular standard with regard to turn around figures, and to change course now without going through the formal rules change procedures would establish a dangerous precedent for our organization. I do understand and empathize with the concerns expressed recently regarding the inverted Y-axis exit of the 2017 Intermediate sequence. However for the sake of consistency, and the previously established standard, we must continue to abide by the existing interpretation until such time as the rule can be changed through the correct procedures. As such, I and the IMAC Board of Directors have released the following statement in order to clarify the particulars of legal turn-around figures:

Recent confusion and discussion regarding Rule 13.5 (legal turn-around figures) makes it clear that some review and clarification are in order. After much discussion, the IMAC Board of Directors and the Chief Judging Instructor firmly believes it is in IMAC’s best interest to stay consistent with what we have taught for years in judging schools from a local to an international level. What does that mean for judges and pilots? The only permitted turn-around figures are as follows:

  • Turns;
  • Half Cubans with only a single ½ roll on the 45 down line;
  • Reverse Half Cubans with only a single ½ roll on the 45 up line;

The ½ roll is optional based on aircraft positioning required to enter the aerobatic airspace;

  • Half loops up or down (Immelmann or Split S) with only one half roll on entry or exit;
  • Single half roll to inverted immediately prior to entering the aerobatic airspace for the case in which an inverted entry to the first maneuver is required;
  • Single half roll to upright immediately after exiting the aerobatic airspace for the case in which an inverted exit from the last maneuver is required;
  • A vertical up or down line with a simple push/pull for entry and exit. A single 1/2 roll is allowed on this vertical line only if required to orient the aircraft properly for entry to the first maneuver.

For the purposes of further clarifying the issue at hand, and ensuring consistent application of the rules at ALL IMAC contests, all turn-around figures are considered to be positive in nature (initiating from upright flight). Should a sequence end in inverted flight, the pilot is to perform a single half roll to upright after which other legal turn around figures may be executed. Pursuant to rule 13.5, exceptions to these limitations may only be directed by the CD or line boss in the course of safely managing the airspace. Pilots are to follow any such directions and no penalty will apply.

We are very aware that the textual ambiguity of the current rule leaves open the possibility for multiple interpretations. However, we also feel it is extremely important to maintain a standard that is consistent with how we have instructed over the course of several years. There is an established protocol for instituting rules changes, and deviating from that process could undermine the credibility of our organization. Rest assured that we will engage that process to address the exposed short comings of the current Rule 13.5.

Thank you very much,


Ty Lyman - IMAC Chief Judging Instructor

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