Aerobatics practice…

I flew solo aeros for the first time in months this weekend. The Citabria climbs soooo much better with nobody else on board!

The flight was to run through a few portions of the 2016 Club Sequence. I flew a loop, into a half cuban followed by a stall turn into a roll.

I’m getting reasonably happy with my vertical manoeuvres now thanks to just constant practising. It’s easy in the early stages to have a touch of aileron in a pull, especially when looking to the left wingtip as I do. This will make a loop look a bit messy and I’m aiming for perfection, so that won’t do!

I am, however, struggling to get my rolls to stay near the horizon at the end. I need more practice with rudder and elevator input around the roll to really master keeping the nose in the right place.

The CloudAhoy data for the flight is here. I’ve started using it to judge my position over the ground. The 3D data doesn’t pick up the figures themselves, I’m not sure if that’s because the GPS  isn’t logging fast enough, or if the G force has any impact on it’s operation. But for ground positioning in an imaginary box, it helps.

I always follow the tree-lined avenues of Cirencester Park as they make such great references. They are miles long and radiate from a central point at right angles.

The data is captured on a Garmin GLO connected via Bluetooth to my iPhone.


I film most flights on my GoPro Session both for social media and to actually watch and review what I’m doing with the aircraft. The YouTube video of this flight is below; there’s lots of flying around and a little bit of aeros. I’m no PlaneOldBen when it comes to video production as I really don’t have the time to spend on editing!

Thanks as ever to Freedom Aviation. You can fly this Citabria for £125/hr solo, which for a club rental aerobatic aeroplane, can’t really be beaten!

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Rob P says:

    Aileron input when pulling for a loop? I was taught to use both hands on the stick to pull back which will suppress the tendency to pull lop-sided.


    1. Yeah good observation, perhaps having both hands on is better. I tend to always have one hand on the throttle in order to back off the RPM above 110kts, then apply full power again when going into the vertical.


      1. Rob P says:

        I always start at 130kt, move the throttle to full, place both hands on the stick and pull back evenly, then when going over the top and I have good horizon reference coming up move my hand back to the throttle to back off on the downhill section.


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