Giving Introductory Aerobatic Rides

I wrote the lead story, “Your Toughest Judges,” for the April 2013 issue of Sport Aerobatics, the monthly magazine of the International Aerobatic Club (IAC). You can download the free PDF version of the magazine here. The feature includes several in-flight photos of my Extra 300L and my happy customers.

FAA To Publish New Rules about Personal Electronic Devices

From the NY Times, here’s a story about the FAA’s plans to update regulations governing the use of personal electronic devices on airliners. Excerpt:

According to people who work with an industry working group that the Federal Aviation Administration set up last year to study the use of portable electronics on planes, the agency hopes to announce by the end of this year that it will relax the rules for reading devices during takeoff and landing. The change would not include cellphones…

Last year, the agency announced that an industry working group would study the issue. The group, which first met in January, comprises people from various industries, including Amazon, the Consumer Electronics Association, Boeing, the Association of Flight Attendants, the Federal Communications Commission and aircraft makers. The group plans to introduce its findings by July 31.

Resources for Pilots after Tower Closures

The FAA has released the list of contract towers that will close in April. At many of those airports, the control towers operated part-time, and most pilots regularly use airports that do not have control towers, so the shift back to flying at an “uncontrolled” airport is not as great as some media reports make it seem.

Still, it may be useful to review the standard operating procedures at non-towered airports. Here are some free resources for pilots and flight instructors:

And, finally, a clever video from AVweb, “A Sarcastic View of Pattern Flying.”

Video: Introduction to Aerobatics

Here’s video of a recent training session in basic aerobatic maneuvers including lazy-8s, chandelles, loops, Cuban-8s, rolls, and spins. The student on this flight is already a flight instructor, but he has had limited experience with aerobatics. We are flying my Extra 300L. A related video is here.

An aerobatic lesson in the Extra 300L

International Aerobatic Club (IAC) New Website

The IAC has launched a new website at It’s a good resource if you’re interested in aerobatics, aerobatic competitions, and airshows. The site includes a list of instructors and flight schools that offer aerobatic training.