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Thread: Proposed Rule Changes for 2013

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Fruita, CO

    Proposed Rule Changes for 2013

    The proposed changes appear below. Use the 'Reply' button below to provide your feedback no later than Nov. 11, 2012.

    No. Synopsis Affected Rule Proposed Rule Change Rationale
    13-1 Remove certain figures from the list of legal Intermediate power Unknown figures. Appendix 3, Intermediate, Family 8 Remove 8.5.9.x thru 8.5.19 (vertical 5/8th loops) from Appendix 3, Intermediate. The downward figures all require a transition from negative or zero g loading to high sustained positive g- loading, raising a safety concern. And the upward figures require significant aircraft performance to avoid stalling over the top looping portion.
    13-2 Adds a rolling turn to the list of legal Intermediate Unknown figures for both power and glider. Appendices 3 & 4, Intermediate, Family 2 Add the, “90-degree, 1 roll to the inside” rolling turn to the list of legal figures for both power and glider Intermediate categories. This figure has now been used for multiple years in Intermediate Knowns without issue and it is a common figure used in Intermediate glider Free programs. The figure presents no undue stress on either the pilot or the aircraft and increases the options for Intermediate Unknown sequences to transition between axes.
    13-3 Deletes the 75% figure completion rule. 5.2.2 Delete 5.2.2 in its entirety:
    In addition, competitors who do not complete 75% of the figures (by either not flying the figure or receiving a grade of zero for a figure flown) in their Known compulsory will be disqualified from that category. This does not mean that competitors who receive zeros for figures flown in the wrong direction will be disqualified solely for this error.
    Charging the chief and grading judges with assessing whether each competitor is flying safely is the most robust safety tool in our bag. Tacking on a mandatory disqualification due solely to a poor score adds no value to contest safety; and serves only to procedurally eliminate competitors who, while flying safely, have a bad Known Program flight. It stands to reason that dismissing a competitor per 5.2.2 lessens the likelihood that we'd see him/her again at a future contest.
    13-4 Provides the Chief Judge with the explicit right to interrupt a flight at any point if the Chief believes the competitor is unsafe. 4.2 Add new subparagraph:

    4.2.4 The Chief Judge may direct a competitor to interrupt the sequence at any time if, in the Chief Judge’s opinion, that competitor is demonstrating an inability to safely control the aircraft during any part of the flight program. Following the direction to interrupt, the Chief Judge will immediately conference with the grading judges.

    (a) If a majority of grading judges agree that the competitor is demonstrating unsafe flight, the Chief Judge will disqualify the competitor from further flight at the contest per rule 4.2.3.

    (b) If the majority of grading judges do not agree that the competitor is demonstrating unsafe flight, there will be no penalty for the interruption and the sequence may be resumed in accordance with the procedures found in rule 4.20.4(b).
    The current rules do not include “safety” as one of the reasons a Chief Judge may interrupt a flight in progress. This change provides a real-time check of the ability of a competitor to safely execute the sequence and defines the consequences of being found either “safe” or “unsafe” by the grading judges.
    13-5 Deletes the eligibility of Advanced pilots to fly the 4-Minute Free program. 5.6.1 5.6.1 The contest Director may schedule this special trophy event for any Unlimited category competitor. or Advanced category competitors who also hold at least a current ICAS 250-foot waiver. All 4-Minute Free competitors must have completed the scheduled competition flight programs in their respective category. 1) The current rule (changed in 2012) was intended to encourage greater participation in the 4-Minute Freestyle, but the benefit to the organization is small to nonexistent and regardless, there are very few Advanced pilots who qualify.

    2) The ICAS waiver is NOT designed to test skills that are required to fly a competent 4-Minute Freestyle. In fact, it is entirely possible to obtain a 250 foot waiver by simply demonstrating competence in flying an Intermediate-level sequence at lower altitudes.

    3) The IAC’s established method of a controlled escalation of increasing figure complexity and exposure to lower altitudes has undoubtedly contributed to our excellent safety record. Changing the requirements for the 4-Minute Freestyle is a major departure from that proven approach and adds no benefit to the overwhelming majority of members.

    4) From a legal standpoint the IAC is accepting the financial and ethical responsibility for any accident or incident that may occur due to granting eligibility to pilots approved by an organization (ICAS) over which the IAC has no control or say as to certification requirements.

    5) The IAC charter has an emphasis on safety. Prominent in our organization’s purpose is “A Commitment and Responsibility to Safety and Excellence in every aspect of our Sport.” The current rule flies in the face of our stated purpose and goals. Why risk that record for little to no benefit to the overall organization?
    13-6 Clarifies the maximum wind speed rule. 4.19.3 Contest flight will not be conducted if the cross wind component for the active runway exceeds 20 knots or the total wind velocity at the surface exceeds 25 knots from any direction. The current rule is open to many interpretations due to its lack of defined specifics. This change addresses the safety aspect of takeoff and landing operations in high winds and sets the maximum total surface wind at approximately the well-proven CIVA limit. Further, it takes the Jury out of the equation. It is not unusual to have several jury members who are not pilots and thus not equipped to appreciate the safety aspects of high wind operations.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Fruita, CO
    13-1: By way of background, this proposal only impacts the six figures that are permitted by Appendix 3 of the IAC Rule Book: ("reverse teardrop"),,, ("teardrop"), 8.5.17. Of those, I would agree that,, and present a risk of over-speed / over-G or GLOC due to the neg-pos transition. However the "teardrop" figures have no such risk, and don't require any more aircraft performance than, say, a diamond or square loop. In fact these figures can be flown as ordinary loops with a brief hesitation to establish the 45-degree line. While incorporates a long 5/8ths pull, the pilot can decide how hard they want to pull, and the figure does not require any special aircraft performance. Therefore I support dropping,, and from the list of acceptable Unknown figures, and retaining the others.

    13-2: Concur.

    13-3: Concur.

    13-4: Strongly concur. While it's unlikely that a Chief Judge would stand idly by during an unsafe flight, there is clearly a gap in the current rules that should be rectified.

    13-5: Abstain.

    13-6: This issue has been debated for years, and I applaud the effort to bring more clarity to the rules. However I would much rather see the maximum crosswind component set at 15 knots. The proposed 20 knot limit is three knots above the demonstrated crosswind capability of the Super-D. And I shudder to think about newbies trying to land a Pitts S-1 in a 20-knot crosswind.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Oakland, California, United States
    My comments are largely a straight copy and paste of DJ's...

    13-1: I don't see, or presenting huge issues to any Intermediate pilot. Somewhat lukewarm on the other three. I've flown in a contest unknown, only after a protest changed the roll from a 2x4 to a 1/2 to tame the figure a little, and it could result in an unscheduled nap for an unprepared pilot. On the other hand, there really shouldn't be any unprepared pilots in Intermediate. Abstain on these three.

    13-2: Concur - this is a great unknown figure for Intermediate

    13-3: Concur

    13-4: Strongly concur. I've had the daylights scared out of me on a judging line and it went on longer than I would have liked.

    13-5: Abstain - above my skill level so I can't really comment. I'm not opposed in principle to an Advanced pilot flying a 4-minute free, especially if they're "stuck" in Advanced due to financial constraints, but I have no idea how to set a safe bar to qualify them for the 4-minute Free.

    13-6: Disagree. As PIC I'll set my own wind limits (hint: I'm not landing the Pitts in a 20-knot crosswind) and I'm not sure a blanket rule is effective here.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    New Hampshire
    Thanks for posting the rules change proposals. I hope that there is a notification in Sport Aerobatics and on the Acro Exploder.

    My input is:

    13-1 I support.

    13-2 I support.

    13-3 Do not support. While I have never seen this rule invoked at a contest, I have used this rule to explain to up and coming pilots what is expected of them. I will suggest that the rule sets an expectation and that its existence is one reason we never see it used.

    13-4 I do not support. I have never seen a Chief Judge hesitate to stop a scary competitor just because the rule book did not explicitly address the safety aspect of a competition flight. And I have never seen a protest of the Chief Judge breaking off a competitor. I will suggest that adding a Judges Conference to the process is not needed. I will support a rule that allows the Chief Judge to break a competitor for safety reasons with no conferencing required.

    13-5 I strongly support. I opposed the original addition of this rule to the IAC book for the reasons listed in this change proposal.

    13-6 Do not support. My observation has been that Contest Directors and Chief Judges (on the east coast) have not needed a detailed rule to suspend contest flying for wind and weather. They seem to find enough justification in the existing rules, and have been well organized enough to consult with the competitors, to identify when the wind conditions on contest day are a safety issue. Have never seen a protest filed by a competitor who believed that a high cross-wind would provide a competitive advantage. And I have never seen a Contest Jury (east coast) with non-pilot members. Should there be a rule about Jury qualifications?


    Wes Liu
    IAC 10467
    Intermediate Competitor
    IAC National Judge
    IAC Chapter 35 President Emeritus
    Pitts Belly Washer

  5. #5
    smutny's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Auburn, Washington, United States
    13-1 - Disagree. It makes no sense to remove 8.5.x.x when the similar 8.6.x.x figures remain legal for Intermediate Unknowns. Both sets of figures require identical pilot ability and can be flown by the baseline aircraft.

    13-2 - Agree.

    13-3 - Disagree. Bear in mind, the text says 75% of the figures, not a score of 75%. It also states the competitor would be "...disqualified from that category..." which means they could fly one lower if desired. If a pilot can't fly three quarters of the Known figures, they need additional training, and that shouldn't be happening under the pressure of competition.

    13-4 - Agree. I would add that the leading sentence should read, "The Chief Judge shall direct a competitor to interrupt the sequence..." In a nutshell, the IAC does not do well in training its new Chief Judges in the aspects of event safety and maintaining a three dimensional awareness of the contest. Any clarifying text to simplify safety issues is welcome.

    13-5 - Agree.

    13-6 - Disagree.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Hamilton, New Zealand, New Zealand
    13-2 Strongly disagree, in fact I believe rolling circles should be removed from the Intermediate Known program also. By incrementally making Intermediate more and more difficult, and requiring competitors in this category to have more and more capable aircraft is slowly but surely killing off the competition. Whilst my aircraft is capable of flying the figures, many of my competitors' aircraft are not, and so an increasing number are being forced to either zero the manouvre or slide back down to Sports. Is this what the intention is???!!!
    Last edited by NZSlackie; 10-16-2012 at 05:30 PM. Reason: speling!?

  7. #7
    cyav8r's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Quote Originally Posted by NZSlackie View Post
    ...requiring competitors in this category to have more and more capable aircraft
    Really?? A 90 1-turn roller is very flyable in a Decathlon with a bit of practice. That's the reference aircraft for the category and pretty low on the performance scale.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Quote Originally Posted by cyav8r View Post
    ... Decathlon ...reference aircraft for the category ...
    Isn't the reference aircraft for the Intermediate Category the Great Lakes? I believe the Decathlon is the reference aircraft for Sportsman.

    Not sure where this is declared...still looking for an official reference.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Seattle, WA and Tucson, AZ
    Chopmo, the reference aircraft for Intermediate is the Great Lakes. For Sportsman, it's a 7ECA Citabria (115hp, no inverted system). Find these in P&P 221 on page 3.


  10. #10

    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Ward View Post
    Chopmo, the reference aircraft for Intermediate is the Great Lakes. For Sportsman, it's a 7ECA Citabria (115hp, no inverted system). Find these in P&P 221 on page 3.

    Thanks, Jim! I have no objection to rollers in Intermediate given that the Great Lakes is the reference aircraft. I saw a Decathlon compete at the US Nationals in the Intermediate category. He did a fine 90 degree roller.

    My Votes:

    13-1 Do not Concur
    13-2 Concur
    13-3 Do not Concur
    13-4 Do not Concur
    13-5 Do Not Concur
    13-6 Concur
    Last edited by Chopmo; 10-17-2012 at 02:58 PM. Reason: added votes

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