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2014 Sportsman Known Sequence

In the Loop - May 2014

By Carey Gabrielle

Many pilots take to YouTube to show off their flying skills - competition pilots are no exception. Carey Gabrielle shows us a video of him flying the Sportsman Known sequence in his Super Decathlon. What's interesting about this video is not so much the flying as the nice critique someone gave him in the comments below the video. Here's a bit of that critique:

"Fig. 1 - I noticed you not using a wingtip reference for your 45 line. Most reference the wingtip, but there are some who don't. That's fine as long as you get repeatable, accurate results - and your ground 'critiquer' says your 45 attitudes look good. Line lengths - you barely drew a line (less than a second) before the half roll, then drew a 7-second inverted 45 line. That's way too long after the roll. Also got steep on the way up inverted. Then you would have had no energy left to float a round segment over the top. Enter this figure with lots of smash. Pull 45 and do a slow one count. Half roll. Then do a normal two count after. Do a slight pop of back stick and then back to neutral to break the 45 line and start an easy float over the top. You must be patient with the float over the top to get a real round looping segment.

"Fig. 2 Turn - Looked decent from what I could tell. But unless you need to drive down the X-axis for box position, I would recommend pulling power off as soon as you roll out of the turn.

"Fig. 3 Spin - Looked like a decent entry. Make the airplane climb very, very slightly into the spin. Judges won't see it and you'll get a better spin entry. Hold a slight amount of rudder in the direction you want to spin. You were shallow on your downline. Check your wingtip after stopping the spin to check attitude. Be sure to apply full power as soon as the spin stops. Minimizes altitude loss. A more advanced technique is to apply full power during the spin recovery process. Has the ability to stop the spin a little quicker and cleaner. And the sooner you can get the power in, the less altitude it'll take to gain airspeed for the next figure."

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