Saturday, January 29, 2011

This Is the New IAC 88 Blog

Don Weaver's (IP) thumbs up from back seat of the Super D in AcroCamp filming - Jim Rodriguez in front.

Here starts a new blog on IAC Chapter 88 activities (Michigan chapter) and aerobatics in general.  Our chapter includes the following activities:
1)  Hosting the annual regional competition (Michigan Aerobatic Open) at Jackson, MI
2)  Monthly meetings at Howell, MI - now virtual!  Can participate from remote locations!
3)  Critique sessions
4)  Support, safety and training opportunities for competition and pleasure aerobatics (ex. Berz Aviation, Northwestern Michigan College)
5)  Support for aircraft owners
6)  Member involvement in aerobatics support through independent film projects (AcroCamp)
7)  Other cool stuff

While I'm the guy shoving stuff into the stream of consciousness here called a blog, I'm more of a blogmaster - I'll be posting for others in the chapter also, and invite input, as this is the chapter's blog, not just mine.

The immediate story line to appear here will be the learning curve associated with being a co-contest director with Nancy Wright for the 2011 Jackson competition, both of us being first-timers at this role.  While Nancy is an expert volunteer coordinator with everything from regional to worlds volunteer work in her experience, I'm a novice with a few volunteer positions at competitions when not serving as a safety pilot or competing myself.  In 2010 I flew three contests in a Pitts S2B (N69SZ) in Intermediate, but at every competition I had Primary and Sportsman students that kept me busy being a safety pilot and out of the volunteer ranks for the most part.

So I'm posting this and then going off to download all the national IAC contest planning info, and starting Monday we go to work.  Lots to learn, but lots of fun also.  We get to work with the Jackson airport administration folks and ATC facilities, local EAA Chapter 304 facilities and folks, the local FBO - Skyway Aviation and associated restaurant,  local media and sponsors, the National IAC for sanctioning and insurance, judges from all over the mid-west and Atlantic areas, our local FSDO, a bunch of great competitors and many volunteers, and rub elbows with the pilots and non-pilots who come to help and witness the event.

And we'll try not to get IAC 88 President Sandy Langworthy's car totally suck in the mud like last year setting up box markings.  Yeah, more stories later...

So stay tuned and join the followers of this blog to learn more about participating in competition aerobatics and what goes on behind the scenes to make a competition work smoothly.  We hope!  We'll work real hard at it.  Our goal is to have the Jackson competition on the IAC national calendar in February and get on to the details.  And as an aerobatic instructor I'll take every opportunity to explain the workings of competition flying - and why it is just SO amazingly cool and such a great way to build piloting skills, as well as find a whole bunch of really great pilot friends.

 - Don Weaver