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Nov 05, 2013, 12:38 PM
jbourke's Avatar

World Aerobatic Championships 2013

I attended the World Aerobatic Championships in Texas a couple of weeks ago. Here are my pics from the event.

It was really nice to see the AMA was there with a booth running RealFlight simulators. This is the same trailer that was at the AirVenture event in Oshkosh. I got to meet some R/C-ers from the local club, the Texoma R/C Modelers.

Unfortunately I didn't get a lot of coverage from the event because I didn't think to call ahead and arrange for permission. I got turned away by well meaning volunteers before I finally happened on my insurance agent, Ryan Birr from Northwest Insurance Group. He got me a pass and I was able to take a few pictures before I had to get going, but I didn't have time to do any interviews with pilots or take any video of the flights.

There was no posted schedule or standings during the event that could be seen from the spectator area and the weather didn't cooperate very much, so it was a tough event to enjoy from the sidelines. If you plan on coming to an event like this be aware that competition flying is not an airshow. There were long periods without a lot of flying and there wasn't anyone assigned to tell the spectators what was going on.

Oddly enough there was a booth where they were selling t-shirts and other memorabilia but that booth was completely inaccessible from the spectator area!

I think the aerobatic community should consider doing more to encourage spectators to come to these events. We have a lot to gain and nothing to lose.

That said, I do understand that these events are run by volunteers and I know everyone did their best to put on a good show.

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Nov 05, 2013, 04:11 PM
DFC~ We Do Flyin' Right
Vapor Trails's Avatar
nice pics, sorry you were not able to get more access. Almost laughable that the only vendor was inaccessible to spectators.

I guess I might have wrongly assumed these types of events were to encourage the public's interest in aviation... hope they can do better in future years but it sounds like this is a very pilot-oriented event.
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Nov 05, 2013, 09:31 PM
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Last edited by Twinkletoze; Sep 02, 2014 at 07:59 PM.
Nov 06, 2013, 07:47 AM
Jim T. Graham's Avatar
This is held in my home town. As a kid I spent a week each year laying in our pasture watching the pilots go through their routines in the skies over our ranch. I'm pretty sure this is where my interest in flight came from. I also spent many hours in those hangars listening to much older pilots tell aviation stories. When I was a teen the abandoned roads behind that air base were street racing central.
Nov 06, 2013, 10:53 AM
jbourke's Avatar
Jim, you are thinking of the US Nationals, which you are right occur in your hometown each year.

This year that site also hosted the Worlds, which is what I attended.

Nov 06, 2013, 10:05 PM
Registered User
An event like the worlds is different from an IAC contest. At the world's pilots don't want to have to worry about having to deal with any extraneous things; flying at that level is 99% mental. Also all the competitors have spent thousands of dollars practicing; in fuel, doing training camps, etc. On top of that, competitors from outside North America that ship there planes spend over 20k to get them there.

Although on the other hand I think the IAC needs to do more to encourage spectators and possible future competitors at regional contests.
Nov 07, 2013, 09:20 AM
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Last edited by Twinkletoze; Sep 02, 2014 at 07:59 PM.
Nov 07, 2013, 07:35 PM
jbourke's Avatar
Holding a contest and discourage spectators from coming makes sense, if that is what the contest needs.

However, the WAC sent a mixed message. It encouraged spectators to come. You can go to the WAC 2013 website right now and see statements like "For the General Public - viewing the airplanes while they are in competition is FREE every day. There are bleachers available..." etc.

Also, the event was heavily advertised locally. I spent some time downtown and all the locals I talked to knew about it.

What I saw was that some of the spectators went through the FBO and found the bleachers. That's what I did the first few days. I sat there happy as a clam before I was turned away. The view from here was from right behind the judges, which was great.

The rest of the spectators approached from the other end. They didn't have much of a view and they didn't actually have any bleachers, either, from what I saw. I talked to some of them. It wasn't encouraging.

We can blame some of that on the weather. There wasn't as much flying going on as there might have been. Still, as someone trying to follow the event I had a heck of a time understanding when the event organizers were detouring from the schedule for weather. I tried following the event on facebook, the website, etc. There were lots of stops and starts with no explanation anywhere.

I'm sure the competitors knew what was going on, but no one else did. Again, that's just fine if there are no spectators, but I feel once you invite spectators you have an obligation to accommodate them.

I'm sure intentions were good but the result wasn't.

The organization also encouraged sponsorship, saying "The World Aerobatic Championship provides a once-in-a-decade opportunity to expose your name, products and services to premier level pilots and aviation enthusiasts from all over the world."

I don't see how that pitch is true. The sponsorship program has very little chance of reaching "aviation enthusiasts from all over the world." It does give a sponsor a chance to reach "premier level pilots" but let's be honest: there are only a couple dozen of those.

One of the reasons I attended the event was to consider whether I should sponsor it in the future, so I paid attention to these things.

Nov 07, 2013, 09:04 PM
Registered User
Hi Jim,

If you are thinking about sponsoring full scale how about talking with Kirby Chambliss? He is very friendly and is involved with youth related aviation events too plus all those airshows. He also knows some about radio control flying.

The Great Paper Airplane that involved schools and kids was flown at his place.
Last edited by Twinkletoze; Nov 07, 2013 at 09:36 PM.
Nov 11, 2013, 06:07 AM
Bellanca Kruesair
epoxyearl's Avatar

RE; spectators at IAC competitions.

I attended a regional competition several years ago,and it's NOT a spectator sport !

The "box" is not what you see at a local airshow....much higher , and farther away..

There is only one aircraft competing, and the maneuvers aren't as wild and daring as your local Airshows.

I'm an avid airplane buff, and I equate the rewards of watching a competition, even of this calibre, as equal to watching a Cessna 182 fly overhead at 2500', on a cross country flight.

I am not deriding the competitors....I'm saying it's not a way to spend an afternoon, with your family.....

Thank you for the report and photos, however.....
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Nov 13, 2013, 11:15 PM
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When is the detailed date for World Aerobatic Championships 2013? Every year was hold in Texas?
Nov 14, 2013, 05:02 AM
Bellanca Kruesair
epoxyearl's Avatar
Originally Posted by zvenus618 View Post
When is the detailed date for World Aerobatic Championships 2013? Every year was hold in Texas?
This year, they were held October 9th, through the 20th at KGH , in Texas..
(North Texas Regional Airport, Grayson County Texas).

I am not sure, but I would guess the Competitions are held in different Countries on a rotating basis.
Latest blog entry: Future engineers
Nov 14, 2013, 11:20 AM
Registered User
That biplane was originally registered in Canada as a Pitts S1S....original builder was a John Baker in 1977

Current owners are out of Calgary, Alberta

Ain't GOOGLE grand ;-)

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