Next years competition calendar is published see aerobatic-training and soon next years sequences will be released. Time to start training!
Gary Player is often quoted as saying that his success was down to pure luck …and the funny thing he discovered was that the more he practiced, the luckier he got. Although the origins of this quote are debatable there is little doubt in the truth of the message. A friend of mine wins a lot of competitions and assured me that he hardly flies at all. I did believe him for several years and then I discovered that he flies almost 3 times every single day! The message here is clear – don’t believe what people tell you and practice if you aim to win!
Of course it is not the amount you practice that counts but the amount of properly structured training that really matters. Each flight should be planned, briefed and debriefed so that each lesson is properly learned. The brief and debrief need not necessarily be very formal, but should take place. Of course after a days flying it is best to sit down and write down the main training points too.
Realistically the winter weather is going to get in the way of continuity. The best plan therefore is to organise more training than you can actually do in the knowledge that probably half is going to get cancelled due to weather. When you do get to fly, a good plan would be to focus on sequences and new figures. To appreciate the merit of this, one must first understand that each part of each flight must have an aim. If you are flying sequences then the quality of each figure is not likely to improve because even if your instructor debriefs you an each error, frankly an impossible task, you are not going to remember so many points. Practicing sequences is however really important for improving your box flying skills, keeping on axis, compensating for wind, improving spatial awareness etc. Of course your instructor should debrief you on the most significant errors and then you practice your worst figures. Then of course fly the sequence again to boost your moral so that you can see the general improvement. Perhaps on the way home introduce some new figures. Spring is the time to ramp up the training and start polishing each figure. Of course you will be reasonably current and fully practiced at flying sequences in the box with winter winds so now you can focus more on perfecting each figure so you score 10’s rather than 5’s
This week the weather has been mixed. Michael from Hungary is visiting for 4 days of concentrated training, getting ready to compete with us next year. So far we have managed some very good flying although today (Saturday) strong winds grounded us. Each day the weather has looked pretty grim but the METARS looked reasonable and sure enough, once in the air, the cloud-base was much higher and the weather much better than it appeared from the ground. Tomorrow the forecast is particularly good and we have a full days flying organised with students traveling great distances to enjoy some proper training. Lets hope the met man has been telling the truth!