How to be an awesome pilot

WHAT’S AN AWESOME PILOT? An awesome pilot is someone who can dazzle spectators from casual observers to accomplished pilots. This is done by a combination of precision flying and 3D flying. To prove you are an awesome pilot you can enter contests like IMAC sequence, IMAC Freestyle, Pattern Sequence, Pattern Artistic Aerobatics, or you can go head to head with all types of aircraft at IMAA fly-ins. Fly-ins are dangerous and exciting because pilots share the stage with other dissimilar aircraft. At a fly-in, one pilot may be doing slow 3D maneuvers while a jet passes by just inches away at 200 mph. At fly-ins, the hot shot pilots are there to put on the dog. You can also put together a multi-plane show routine. A 2 plane routine is MUCH, MUCH (did I say much?) harder than it looks. Pilots who make it look good must be excellent pilots who have put a lot of effort into practicing together and choreography.


An awesome pilot will:

  • Fly with awesome precision.
  • Fly a straight and level line, even in high wind.
  • Always fly parallel to the runway. Don’t drift and don’t purposely fly skewed to the runway.
  • Either fly straight out or straight in or circle out or in.
  • Always be flying maneuvers, never just flying around aimlessly.
  • Be acutely aware of the wind direction and speed to compensate with rudder and throttle.
  • Have a plan on what to fly before taking off.
  • Always be a better pilot after each flight by paying attention to details and learning something each flight.
  • Fly maneuvers gracefully and at constant speed with the same quality both upwind and downwind.
  • Fly all maneuvers under control at all times. While some maneuvers may scare the casual observer, other pilot’s familiar with your flying will be amused.
  • Practice a lot.
  • Roll and snap to the left as well and as often as to the right.
  • Present maneuvers properly by centering loops, rolls, Cuban 8’s.
  • Go home with plane intact.

The major skills of an awesome pilot are to:

Be awesome in envisioning maneuvers for awesome symmetry.
Be awesome on the rudder for awesome straight figures.
Be awesome on the throttle for awesome energy management.

Once you envision the maneuver you wish to fly, rudder control and throttle management are crucial to it’s accurate completion. Rudder control keeps your heading accurate without rolling/ banking the aircraft. A plane flown with awesome rudder control flies maneuvers straight and true in all wind conditions. Throttle/energy management takes into account the aircraft’s power to weight ratio, the aircraft’s drag (profile drag and propeller induced drag), and wind heading and wind velocity.


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