Wish Me Luck

Your reliable correspondent is taking flight for a few days...

As I write this, CORRelations is a bit more than a year old, and each week, I've been with you — searching for the most-important, actionable, and interesting discoveries and sharing them in the form of quick-hits posts. I hope they've improved your efficiency and effectiveness.

But since we hope to be in for the long haul together, I hope you’ll indulge me the occasional week offline.

Where to, you ask? “Acro Camp.” I'll explain. I’ve been a pilot for awhile, and flown “gentleman’s aerobatics” — loops, rolls, and spins just for my own fun and pleasure — for about 5 years. This summer, I’ll get my first chance to test my skills against others who enjoy the same activity. The format is analogous to a gymnastics contest: You have to perform a specified sequence of maneuvers for score where the judges can see you. Gymnasts have to “keep it on the mat” — they can’t go tumbling into the bleachers or the hallways. Analogously, aerobatic pilots have to perform their routines in an “aerobatic box,” a small parcel of airspace right over the judges’ heads. Those judges score each move, multiply their scores by a degree of difficulty, and subtract points for errors. Winners take home the hardware. I’m guessing I’ll take home a t-shirt and a good story or two.

I’ll be flying a Van’'s RV-8, the two-place, experimental homebuilt aircraft with the gold wings you see below. She’s a fast mover with snappy performance, lots of fun to fly.

Back to “Acro Camp.” It's several days of practicing my aerobatic routine over the heads of judges and professionals, with the goal of competing a little more effectively in this summer’s competitions. Wish me luck!

Here are a couple snapshots and a short video clip to give you a taste.

—SSL

A bluebird day flying over Mt. Baker, WA.
Happiness is an unusual attitude.
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Video clip of an aileron roll over a cloud layer near the North Cascades.