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Thread: Suggestions for new IAC website.

  1. #1

    Suggestions for new IAC website.

    I was a CD for many years in the NE and one thing I thought would have been very helpful was some sort of "clearing house" of ideas on how to run a contest. Not just the basic info you get with the IAC package but more specific. &nbsp;Like how do you make a boundary sighting device or what have you tried that was successful in gaining new membership.&nbsp;<br><br>There are a lot of very talented people out there working on the Regional contest level. I am sure there is a wealth of ideas that would make the contests much more interesting and enjoyable. &nbsp;The latest Sport Aerobatics talks about loosing the "party atmosphere" in the contest banquets. We always tried to make it a very entertaining evening. Plaques and trophies for the obvious events but some "more thoughtful" awards also. Film or slide shows on the weekend activities was also a big hit. I always tried to bring as much humor to the program as possible and make it an event worth having. &nbsp;We made it a tradition to meet every pilot as they landed with a bottle of water and a hand shake. &nbsp;We even had a little "red carpet" we placed down as they got out of the airplane. &nbsp;It's the little things that add up and pretty soon you start getting a lot of people "showing up". &nbsp;In 2010 I think we had 54 competitors at the Kathy Jaffe Challenge.&nbsp;<br><br>Regional contests are a thankless job. &nbsp;It takes a nucleus of very dedicated people to make a contest a real success. &nbsp;The people in Chapter 52 are some of the finest in the business. &nbsp;Two contests a year, a world class website, judges schools and organized practices. It is always about the people. &nbsp;<br><br>This is a great sport and I realize that it is hard on the "wallet" and getting harder everyday. &nbsp;I always thought of a Contest as a party and bring an airplane along if you have one. &nbsp;Show the competitors and non competitors alike that you are in it for them. &nbsp;Give them as many reasons to participate as you can think of. &nbsp;The IAC website should have a place for those "reasons".<br><br>My last point is about "giving back". &nbsp;One of the things we tried to do at the banquet is feature a speaker. &nbsp;Preferably someone related to aerobatics and I must say we were not very successful. &nbsp;I realize that most of the top airshow pilots today have a pretty full plate, but I don't think they understand just how much of a role model they really are to the weekend competitor. &nbsp;I don't expect someone like Sean Tucker to start going to Regional contests any time soon but I am sure it would &nbsp;increase participation. There is a wealth of knowledge and experience out there that will be shared by only a select few. &nbsp;What a great forum to motivate a new competitor. <br><br>Ron Chadwick&nbsp;<br><br><br><br>
    Last edited by Ron Chadwick; 11-19-2011 at 01:32 AM.

  2. #2

    Join Date
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    New IAC web site

    There are many good features at the Glasair builders' web site run by Bruce Gray. See: http://www.glasair.org/

    Items that should be included:

    All tech tips manuals
    Accident investigation reports
    Aircraft manuals
    Links to manufactureres, suppliers, other relevant sites
    Contest results, current and historical
    Approved sequences, including individual's approved free sequences
    etc

    The sections that I most frequently use at Glasair.org are the forums, the image base, the file base and the classified ads, but almost all have been useful over time.
    My criteria for the menu items is simple: I want one site to have everything about aerobatics.

    Glad you asked.


    Byron Covey

  3. #3

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    Actually, the IAC web site HAS all of the info listed in the post above. But because it is hiding in the "Members Only" area, most readers do not find it. I regard that as a big negative.

    I suggest that the contest results, the known programs for the current year, and the contest rule book have highly visible links right on the front page of the IAC web site. I suggest that current competitors will like seeing their names in public, its motivation to move up in the standings, and non-members might have the thought that their name could be added to the list for everyone to see,

    I showed up at my first contest never having seen the current rule book. I just had a copy of the Known Program and flew when they told me to, following the procedure that had been briefed at the start of the contest. It should be easier to find the rule book on the web site.

    Thanks for asking!

    Wes
    N78PS

  4. #4

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    I will also put in a vote for moving links for all of the contest info to the top/home page. The contests are I think our signature events and reasons for being so they should have a very public and prominent and accessible-by-all place on the IAC home page.

    Farrell

  5. #5
    I agree with Wes's comments above...we should do everything to make the site as inviting and welcoming to those who are not fully in the sport yet and make the transition as easy as possible. I read the magazine and looked at every aerobatic website for years before I finally managed to make it to a contest...i.e. there are many, many pilots (many who are probably young men with all the ambition and drive, but not enough money) who want in, waiting for their first contest. Or maybe they are the RV types, or don't have inverted systems. They are sitting on the periphery waiting to come in, and we should welcome them with open arms.

    Those of us who are deep in the sport know where to find everything already. I'd like to see more prominent links to CIVA in regards to Advanced and Unlimited so that newer pilots coming up through the IAC system understand that team competition will require them to operate in two systems, with two sets of rules. In other words, let's build more international awareness in our pilots sooner, and also emphasize that at the international level, this is a team sport, not an individual one. I think we forget that sometimes.

    Finally, while I think it is a great idea to have the safety blog and the tech tips, as well as the rules and current known sequences for anyone to view, there needs to be at least some exclusive benefit to membership. So when we eventually put all the back issues of Sport Aerobatics online, that should be a privilege granted only to members who are current on their dues.
    -Phillip

  6. #6
    cyav8r's Avatar
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    How about just more frequent updates to the content. We are approaching 2 months past the US Nationals and there is nothing on the site about the this year's contest! Minutes from the board meetings are typically not posted till many months later. Overall its just embarrassing how far behind the site is. A redesign would be nice, but it will do nothing in the long run if the content is not kept fresh.

    The rest of the items mentioned so far are all there and available as Wes said, and none of it is protected. The "login" page doesn't do any sort of validation so anyone has access to all the info. Just click on the 'Enter' button while putting nothing in the boxes. Its silly to even have the page.

    Paul

  7. #7

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    I second the comments about more frequent updates. The website has a lot of great info, but it rarely changes, and as a result, I don't have much reason to use it. Here are some things I'd like to see:

    1. Sport Aerobatics back issues available electronically - this is by far my number one request, though I realize not a trivial one.
    2. The news feed needs to be updated in a timely fashion. Can't stress that enough.
    3. Many of the types of articles and snippets in "In the Loop" could be posted to the news feed - interesting videos, stories..
    4. Some notification of new posts to Tech Watch would be useful.
    5. The calendars really need to be kept up to date - why do you have to scroll through three months of past contests to get to the current schedule?
    6. Agree that more integration/interaction with CIVA would be good.

    Still - the main thing is that the site needs to be kept current. Some system to allow that to happen without being too large of a burden on any one individual needs to be developed, and in my opinion, that piece is more pressing than what content is desired.

  8. #8

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    Good integration to the EAA calendar. If IAC chapters used the EAA driven calendar then our events will not only show up on our sites, but can easily be searched by interested parties at eaa.org.

  9. #9

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    The web site could make a substantial difference in attracting and retaining new members that may not yet be interested in competition, but are interested in learning how to safely and properly fly aerobatics. Without getting "off subject" (see letter below), I suggest that the web site include easy to find links to videos of at least the following in an effort to quickly show "new comers" what the sequences are all about:

    Full Primary sequence from inside the aircraft, and from the judges view.
    Possibly the same for the Sportsman known - understanding that it changes annually, so might be a problem.

    Adam Cope has produced videos like this on Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMocWT0HtGw. Up front, easy to find links to this would be very helpful.

    In addition to this, as I noted above, I have felt that the IAC is not doing a good job supporting "non competition" or "sport" acro pilots. There are lots of them, in fact, likely many more than competition pilots. I believe that if they are well supported, the will eventually migrate to competition, assuming the path is simplified over from the current "3 day event" system. I sent a letter to the IAC a while back with several suggestions, including modifications to the web site. Attached are a few parts from the letter.
    ....I would suggest that in most cases, new members join with common motivations; they are nonexperiencedin aerobatic flight and are interested in learning to fly aerobatics. I would also note that inmost cases, they are not yet interested in competition, but are much more concerned with simply learningthe “ins and outs” of safely flying basic aerobatic figures. The organization is not doing a good job of“receiving” new acro pilots and providing them the basic information and support they need and desire.If they get what they are looking for; very basic information and help to get started, they will likely soondevelop an interest in competition, or at least in taking advantage of local chapter practice sessions, likelyleading to eventual competition (or at a minimum, volunteering at competitions).Here are a few specifics of areas where I feel the organization could do more for new members, and mysuggestions for possible improvement:Invitations to all IAC events and efforts should be very clearly presented to the entire aviation communitymaking it clear that any one interested is welcome, including practice sessions for observation. Web sitesthat have “event” links could be used as well as other commonly used methods of notification of aviationevents (EAA web site, etc). This should include information relating to “flying in” procedures since nonIAC persons don’t know what to expect when approaching an airport conducting practice or competition.If a visitor shows up at any IAC event including; practices, chapter meetings, competitions, etc., it isimperative that they are greeted and treated with the utmost hospitality and are kept engaged whilepresent. It can be an intimidating experience for a visitor to fly (or drive) in and show up at an event withhighly experienced acro pilots, 1/4 million dollar airplanes lined up, and small groups of friends engagedin closed discussion and other activities. A solution would be to have specific person(s) assigned toreceiving visitors and assuring that they are brought into the event and leave feeling that they wereaccepted, were able to learn what they came to find out, and that they would be welcome to come to thenext event even if it’s just a local chapter meeting....
    IAC should consider a program similar to Young Eagles but specifically for currently flying (pilots)adults interested in experiencing aerobatics. This should be restricted to pilots that have at least reachedsolo (or maybe more) and are 18 or older. The EAA & IAC would need to develop a liability program.......The ride should be a clearly defined very basic sequence...... These rides could / should be offered at local chapterpractices.......

    Competitions are way to complicated, expensive and time consuming for beginners, especiallyconsidering that they are likely flying the primary sequence, which takes about 1-1/2 minutes to fly, butthey will need to be engaged for up to three days. Never mind the fact that their airplane is “locked up”,so they can’t use it to fly home between days. This can be very difficult to justify for a newcomer; 2-3days away from the family, hotel, food and transportation expenses, etc., to compete with 2 or 3 otherpeople in the primary category. Although one of the benefits of IAC is the interaction with top levelpilots, it may be that in the case of primary competitors (and maybe sportsman), a much simpler andshorter format for the entire competition should be considered. A one day event that pilots could fly in to,compete, and then fly home would be much easier for newcomers, and be much more attractive to thenewer acro pilot that may not have initially thought he / she was interested in competition. With thisformat, they might just give it a try.The magazine is absolutely beautiful, but completely misses the mark for newcomers. It is often notmuch more than a “score card”........ It is clearly geared toward theexperienced competitor. There is very little “meat” for newcomers that are “hungry” for anything theycan find to answer their questions. Remember, many newcomers start due to an interest in recreationalacro or simple curiosity (can I actually do this?), not competition. The IAC is a competition organization,which is good, but the magazine could be very helpful in providing newcomers with a initial interest innon competition acro, the information they need eventually leading them to competition. Theorganizations standards would not need to be compromised ............ butarticles and information at a much more basic level would be very attractive to new members. Thefollowing is a summary list of some of the types of articles that might be useful and of interest;Equipment: Letter has extensive list to long for this message boardFlying: Letter has extensive list to long for this message boardThe organization needs a good web site with a good message board that everyone uses and sufficient andeasily found information for beginners (searchable). The web site should also include links to good, highquality videos of:Each category knowns videoed from inside and from the judges table (what they see).Specific maneuvers(all competitions maneuvers -again inside and outside views).Various competition footage of small and large competitions.The existing IAC site could be used for this, but isn’t user friendly in its present form, especially for acronewcomers. Oshkosh 365 “Unusual attitudes” is not well utilized but would be a good place for a wellused message board since it would also be available to non acro EAA members possibly gaining theirinterest. The Acro Blaster e-mail system is very active, entertaining, and useful, but apparently isprivately run and isn’t an actual message board that can be searched for information. There is also a“smattering” of other personal message boards, but not one clear central point of communication. TheIAC should take the initiative to coordinate these into a unified central information location. This maynot be the first choice of experienced IAC members, but would be highly beneficial to newcomers and theability to retain them. It would be important however, for the experienced acro pilots to also engage inthis specific space. If the local chapters (particularly the presidents) would commit to using the designedmessage board, that would go a long way toward centralizing and increasing it’s use.In summary;I believe the IAC needs to make a much more concerted effort to be “open” to all aviationenthusiasts and a much stronger effort to invite everyone to all events.Anyone that shows up should be made to feel very welcome and invited back.IAC should not “shun” recreational acro, but instead should use it to entice more interest in theIAC which will automatically lead to more interest in competitions.A simplified competition format should be considered, at least for primary and possibly sportsmanlevel competition with the goal of reducing the time and cost commitment to compete at theselevels.The magazine should be adjusted to provide more information at the very early beginner level.A (or the) web site should be adjusted to be more attractive and useful to beginners, includingextensive use of video links showing what the routines and maneuvers are. All chapter membersand presidents should commit to using it in an effort to assure that is it widely accepted.IAC should start a program similar to Young Eagles that provides acro introduction rides tointerested pilots.

  10. #10
    A list of known aerobatic GA airplanes with basic information like # seats, +/- g loading, tri/tail gear, etc would be very helpful, especially for people new but interested in getting started.

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