All About Aerobatics

Chapter 10 – Creating an Aerobatic Routine

Very much a part of learning to do aerobatics is the individual creation of an aerobatic routine. This does not mean that the pilot will ever “display” the routine in front of a large public crowd but will nevertheless “perform” it for his or her own benefit and perhaps for one or two passengers. In fact, a routine for pilot enjoyment and practice will often be a different routine from one designed to give enjoyment to observers on the ground.

Designing a personal aerobatic routine is a creative exercise. It allows each pilot to incorporate and bring out his or her own personality. It is a unique opportunity that very few other aspects of general flying allow for. An aerobatic routine is comprised of several individual aerobatic manoeuvres choreographed together with a selection of joining or positioning manoeuvres. Some of these latter items may, in themselves, be aerobatic, or not. Examples of aerobatic joining manoeuvres include the Stall Turn, the Derry Turn and the Roll Over and Pull Through (Split-S).

Whether the pilot is performing the routine for him or herself, or others, it is beneficial for the routine to be based around a certain area in the sky above and parallel to a certain line feature on the ground. The pilot can even imagine where “a crowd” might be looking from, i.e. on one side of the line feature or other. Thus, the direction-from the crowd’s viewpoint, will be either Left to Right or Right to Left as annotated in the table of aerobatic routines set out below. There are essentially no “in between” headings and nor is it good practice to fly at right angles to-or over the top of the “crowd line”.

When designing the length of an aerobatic routine, starting with 3-5 manoeuvres plus various connecting manoeuvres will probably initially be enough. This means 20-25 minutes is often enough flight time to devote as it should allow the routine to be flown through twice.