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In The Loop Newsletter
Editor's Note
Editor's Note By Reggie Paulk, Editor - In the Loop

Happy New Year! The last few weeks have been a whirlwind. It's nice to be back in somewhat of a routine after the gluttony of the holiday festivities.

Since it is the New Year and people like to focus on their resolutions, I thought it appropriate to highlight our list of aerobatic flight schools and a couple of articles to help you get started on an aerobatic adventure. If you've never flown aerobatics, I'd suggest you exercise your facial muscles beforehand. If you're not used to smiling very much, your cheeks might hurt after that first flight - I know mine did!

My first aerobatic flight was at age 17 in a 180-hp Super Decathlon. Those first rolls, loops, and hammerheads were sublime, and it was all I wanted to do. Unfortunately, the airplane was destroyed in a takeoff accident and my aerobatics had to wait. A couple years later, I was fortunate enough to get a ride in an Extra 300L. That flight exposed me to 6g positive and 3g negative. I was literally giddy after we arrived back at the airport 30 minutes later. I was also exhausted! I took a 2-hour nap immediately following that flight.

My recommendation for anyone wanting to fly aerobatics is a glowing one; you just can't go wrong with them.

I look forward to a wonderful 2014.

Feature Stories
Happy New Year!
Ready for some aerobatics?
If your New Year's resolutions include competition flying, or just plain aerobatics, there's most likely an aerobatic flight school near you. Check out the International Aerobatic Club's aerobatic flight school directory and start making a few phone calls. Competition season will be here before you know it, and winter offers some of the best flying around.

Finding Quality Aerobatic Instruction
By Miriam Levin

Choosing which aerobatic flight school/instructor to train with is an important decision. The more confident you are in your choice, the more successful and enjoyable your training experience will be.

The following are some guidelines and suggestions for what to consider and how to go about making that decision.

Feature Story 3 Aerobatics
Why you should!
By Randy Whitson

Growing up on a soybean farm in western Tennessee allowed me to spend a lot of time watching crop dusters. I remember the sight and sounds of those big Ag-Cats. That big radial engine and prop combination could be heard for miles, so they could be found easily.

The skill and precision of the pilots were remarkable, too. Five feet off the ground with a pull to near stall at each field's end isn't most pilots' idea of fun, but to a young boy who loved airplanes it was remarkable! Time spent watching those amazing planes and pilots had an influence on me. As far back as I can remember, I wanted to fly. Read more >>

Photo Gallery
Photo Gallery Last month, we linked to an older photo gallery from Chapter 52. Fred Robbins saw the post and sent some links to even older archives. The following link will take you to some contests from the late '70s and early '80s as featured in Sport Aerobatics magazine. Have fun! View photos >>

Photo Gallery
Flight Instruction Measuring Progress With the Primary Smooth Award
By Rich Stowell, NAFI Master Instructor-Aerobatic

What could a physician, a derivatives trader, a sales executive, an architect, a chief pilot for a state division of aeronautics, and an engineer possibly have in common? Okay, they're all pilots. But look at the following apparent disparities in their flying experience. Most are recreational fliers, one used to be a corporate pilot before switching careers, while another is a NAFI Master Instructor.

Feature Video
Feature Video Flying Squirrels
Through the treetops with wing suits
This video features wing-suit-clad BASE jumpers literally screaming through the treetops on an adventure that could only be described as harrowing. It seems the slightest mistake could end in disaster, so watching the video will keep you on the edge of your seat. One of the best parts of the video is when they turn off the music and you can hear the roar from the fliers as they zoom overhead.
Watch video >>

Feature Air Show
Feature Air Show Video Pitts Air Show
Unlimited Team Member Brett Hunter over the water
Brett Hunter whipped his Pitts around the sky over the Madison Regatta during an air show in 2012. Brett's name might seem familiar to those of you following the U.S. Unlimited Aerobatic Team at last year's World Aerobatic Championships. He came in 23rd overall and 5th in the 4-Minute Free. Watch video >>

Mystery Photo
Mystery Photo Can you identify the pilot, and more importantly, one accomplishment he made in 2013? Let us know via email.

Last month's photo was of Dave Barbet's Pitts Special at the 2013 World Aerobatic Championships in Sherman/Denison, Texas. Thanks to all who responded.

January 14, 7 p.m. CST: Manuevering Safely - Avoiding Loss of Control - FAA Wings Credit. IAC Member and Certificated Flight Instructor Gordon Penner discusses how the flight controls really work, practical turn knowledge, coordination and coordination exercises, and stall/spin avoidance.

January 29, 7 p.m. CST: Avoiding Loss of Control - In-Flight During Takeoff - FAA Wings Credit. IAC member and CFI Gordon Penner discusses decision making in the takeoff phase, from the beginning of the takeoff roll to the point where a safe return altitude is reached.

To find out more about upcoming EAA Webinars and to register, visit the webinars page.

Miss a webinar? All webinars are recorded and loaded onto the EAA Webinars Channel within 24 hours.

Dates for 2014 U.S. National Aerobatic Championship Set
The dates for the 2014 U.S. Nationals are September 21-26 with a rain date of September 27.

Visit the Chapter Contest Calendar for your nearest contest.

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