G-SKNT is now out of the air for a few weeks for her annual inspection, so for now I’ll have to be content with mental preparation and study, along with some general cross-country flying in the C152 or PA28 on occasion. This is no bad thing actually, as it now means I have some time to sit down and work out where my concentration should lie in terms of training, writing and contacting people with regard to gaining some assistance with the project (if you’re interested in helping out in any way, please have a look at the ‘can you help‘ page).

Anyway, yesterday the BAeA released what will be next year’s Known competition sequences across the board. I’ll be entering myself at ‘Standard’ level, so for me this is the sequence I need to learn and practice:


I'll be flying this next year...

The Sequence:

  1. P-loop 
  2. Half cuban
  3. Stall turn
  4. Goldfish
  5. 180° aerobatic turn
  6. 45° climb
  7. 1 turn precision spin
  8. Immelman (half loop/half roll)
  9. Split-S (half roll/half loop)
  10. 4-point hesitation roll
My initial thoughts were along the lines of “a goldfish…oh lovely”, and “oh no, that’s a hesitation roll at the end”, so you can probably guess which maneuvers I’ll be focusing on once I have a plane to fly again. Other thoughts include some surprise that there are no ‘cross box’ maneuvers – ones that involve a 90º change of direction – so things like 90º and 270º turns, ¼ rolls on the vertical lines or ¼ or ¾ turns in spin maneuvers. All of this sequence has you flying perpendicular to the judges, with no easy means to compensate for actual cross box wind drift (although of course there are still ways and means of dealing with this). Not having any cross-box component does make life easier in some ways, as no decisions need to be made regarding which way you need to be going across the box really.
The other aspects that have surprised me are how late in the sequence the spin has been positioned, as generally you tend to lose height throughout, and a spin is a fairly lossy maneuver in terms of altitude (I tend to allow a fair amount of height for a spin when I do my height calculations). The split-S is also the second to last maneuver, so a late downward pull – I can see myself having to work through my nerve issues with these to gain more confidence that I’m really not going to pull straight into the ground (a silly little mental insecurity of mine).
The thing that delighted* me most upon seeing this sequence though, was the hesitation roll right at the end. These may look and sound pretty simple (a hesitation roll is an aileron roll where you stop at intervals: with a 4-point roll you stop the aircraft on a 90° degree knife-edge, then inverted, then on the 270° knife-edge before ending back upright), but I have so far been finding these frustratingly awkward. Having one in the Known sequence can only be a good thing for me as it’s will to force me into really working on and nailing my rolls.
Bring on 2012!
*This may or may not be a sarcastic use of the term ‘delighted’.