Everybody has different expectations and a unique learning experience when mastering the art of aerobatics from scratch. As well as establishing your basic aircraft handling skills and spatial awareness, the trick is for both of us to understand from the outset those aspects of your personality that you want to express, your strength of purpose and how far you can comfortably stretch your perceived limitations. Overcoming the fear of the unknown is top of the list!

By focussing on the principles of flight and the effect of controls, it is easy to master the classic figures that form the basis of all aerobatics. The next step is to establish a set of classic figures executed with precision and consistency. As familiarity builds so does handling confidence. One problem I often see is an initial disconnect between what the eyes see and what the hands and feet are doing - sometimes described as being 'behind the aircraft'. With practice the process becomes instinctive and reliable.

Continuity training for the more experienced

At the other end of the spectrum is the danger of over-confidence that comes with familiarity and length of service. This can also be a result of modern purpose-built aircraft having incredible control effectiveness coupled with well-sorted aerodynamic qualities. However, there is always the attendant caveat that "all aeroplanes bite fools". For as long as I can remember, this little motto has echoed around in the back of my head.

Fortunately, the idea of continuity training is well understood, even with experienced practitioners. It continues to promote well-being and avoids the trap of familiarity breeding contempt. Or, at the very least, having expert witness to new ideas before it goes wrong ...!