Portions of the items on this page
are from the "Competitor's Guide".
1. FLIGHT PATTERNS AND
MANEUVER AREA: The maneuver schedules of all classes
must be executed in the order listed during an
uninterrupted flight within the maneuver area designated
by the Contest Director. Maneuvers must be performed
where they can be clearly seen by the judges.
a. Center maneuvers must be performed centered in the
maneuver area in a plane exactly perpendicular to the
judges line of sight to the model. Infractions are cause
for downgrading in addition to those downgrades listed
in the Description of Maneuvers, Section III. The
Contest Director will clearly mark the center line for
each flight line.
b. Each time the model passes in front of the judges, a
maneuver must be executed, excluding listed trim passes
and fly bys. In the maneuver lists (U) upwind and (D)
downwind denotes mandatory maneuver orientation. The
orientation, or direction of flight, shall be determined
by the direction of takeoff.
c. The direction of takeoff shall be announced to the
judges by the Contest Director prior to each round, or
subsequently, if direction of the wind dictates.
d. If a maneuver other than landing is done out of
order, it shall be scored zero (0). Judges may inform
the pilot or his helper. He shall be judged on the
remaining maneuvers, providing they are executed in the
proper sequence. If an illegal pass (crossing the line
perpendicular to and centered on the judges) is made,
the maneuver which should have been executed shall be
scored zero (0).
e. In all classes, the contestant or his helper must
call out the name of the maneuver, the initiation and
completion for all maneuvers.
f. Most in-flight maneuvers will be positioned on a line
parallel to the runway at a distance no greater than 300
feet, and at a height less than 60 degrees from the
judges’ viewpoint. Exceptions as to distance are granted
for the Procedure Turn, Figure Eight and Traffic Pattern
g. All in-flight maneuvers will be preceded by straight
and level flight for 50 feet after the announcement of
the maneuver before execution, and 50 feet after
completion of the maneuver before announcement of
completion. Exceptions: In Novice, only before Straight
Flight Out and after Straight Flight Back. In Antique
Sports, only before Straight Flight Out and after the
Figure Eight. In both Novice and Antique Sportsman,
after the completion of the Traffic Pattern, “Landing
will begin a 6 feet” shall be announced.
( 2 ) No bonus for
exceptionally low altitude is justified. The entry and
exit altitudes for most maneuvers should be the same.
Exceptions are the Immelman Turn, Three Turn spin and
Traffic Pattern. Resultant downgrades should be
proportionate to the difference.
c. Size: Flying so far out as to make evaluation of a
maneuver difficult should be downgraded. The main
criterion here is visibility. Maneuvers performed on a
line greater than 500 feet in front of the pilot should
be downgraded, as even the keenest eye begins to lose
perspective at this distance.
( 1 ) Since the size of the maneuvering area varies
proportionally with the distance from the judges to the
model’s line of flight, the size of the maneuvers will
vary as well. In addition, maneuvers should be
proportioned relative to the size of the other maneuvers
in the flight.
( 2 ) The competitor should proportion the maneuver
sizes, especially those with loops, squares, or
verticals, to the distance out within that broad
corridor that he chooses to fly. Large maneuvers placed
close in should be down graded if exceeding the vertical
60 degree limit. Small maneuvers placed far out should
be downgraded for appearing to hide the maneuver.
( 3 ) In all classes, the judge should be careful to
judge only the skill with which the maneuver is flown
and presented, not the performance of the aircraft. d.
Smoothness and Gracefulness: A most general definition
would relate to providing a smooth flowing polished
appearance in a constant roll rate from start to finish.
A perfect loop cannot be made up of a series of straight
flight increments joined by sudden angular jerks.
Rotations in the pitch axis of the model should be made
evenly and be of sufficient radius to give a smooth
appearance in flight. Excessively tight maneuvers should
be severely downgraded. All these criteria should be
judged to determine the final score for each maneuver.
3. ACCURATE AND CONSISTENT JUDGING: The most important
aspect of consistent judging is for each judge to
establish his standards and to maintain that standard
throughout the contest. It is advisable for the Contest
Director or Chief Judge to hold a briefing prior to the
start of the contest in order to make the standards as
uniform as possible.
4. JUDGING INDIVIDUAL MANEUVERS: The schedules of
maneuvers to be performed are described in Section III.
Each maneuver is to be scored individually on a basis of
10 to 0 points, in whole or 1/2 point increments,
according to the degree of excellence. When in doubt,
give the lower score. A 10 should be awarded only if no
flaws are seen that would justify a lower score.
a. Section III contains a description of each maneuver
and lists a number of reasons for downgrades. The
maneuver should be downgraded according to:
( 1 ) the type of defect
( 2 ) the severity of the defect
( 3 ) the number of times any one defect occurs as well
as the total number of defects
( 4 ) the positioning of the maneuver
b. For example, a small single change in heading during
the slow roll would be considered one defect, while two
or three distinct turns would be considered two or three
defects. Note that, for many maneuvers, there are more
than six possible kinds of defects and that some of
these can be repetitive. It is not possible to downgrade
one point for each defect or, indeed, we would have many
negative scores. Start positive scoring on the good
parts of the maneuver if the score begins to get too
5. MANDATORY ZERO: The following is a collation of all
mandatory zero (0) scores applicable to all Pattern
a. Flying behind specified flight line during or between
b. Maneuver performed out of sequence
c. Execution of an illegal pass
d. Touching the plane before completion of the flight
e. Maneuver not completed
f. Model ends up on its back when landing
g. Failure to take off
h. Landing outside of runway or landing zone boundaries
i. In spins, a snap roll, model not stalled or 2 or 4
turns are done
j. A stall turn “flops”. On a double stall turn, a flop
on both stall turns
k. Where 3 rolls or loops are required and 2 or 4 are
Whenever a score of zero (0) is warranted, there should
be acknowledgement/agreement between the judges.
6. SUGGESTED DOWNGRADES: Certain types of defects pose
difficult judging decisions. The following guidelines
a. Stall Turns: A flop would receive a zero for a single
stall turn. In the case of maneuvers with two, a flop of
either would be downgraded 5 points; if both were
flopped, a zero. These downgrades should be applied in
addition to downgrades for any other defects observed.
b. Number of Loops, Spins or Axial Rolls: Where 3 loops,
rolls or spins are required and 2 or 4 are done, the
maneuver will be given a zero (0). Rotation errors of
spins should be penalized, for example a 90 degree error
would draw a 5 point deduction.
c. Major and Minor Defects: A “minor” error, such as a
slight over rotation or heading correction, should be
penalized a point for each occurrence. A “major” error,
such as no entry or exit line to a maneuver, a stall
turn radius exceeding 1-1/2 wingspans, or a total lack
of a line segment after a roll where one is required,
should earn a two point deduction for that fault alone.
Point rolls must hesitate with equal time on each point.
One(1) point is subtracted for slight variations, while
more severe mis-timing is further downgraded. If one or
more points are not visible, or there are more that the
required number of points, the maneuver is severely
downgraded (five (5) or more points.)
d. Maneuvers Off-Center: Deduct two (2) points for each
quarter of the total maneuver’s length that is offset.
Examples (assuming no offset with the judges’ permission
due to the sun): Loops offset so that the edge of the
loop just reaches the judges, deduct four (4) points.
For offsets of 1/4 loop, deduct 2 points.
7. DESCRIPTION OF MANEUVERS: All maneuvers consist of a
number of basic elements such as lines, loops, rolls,
stall turns and spins. A short discussion of these
elements precedes the individual maneuver descriptions
(Section III) to aid the judges in determining
appropriate downgrades for deviations from defined
a. Lines: All aerobatic maneuvers are started and ended
by a horizontal line.
( 1 ) All lines within a maneuver have a beginning and
an end which define their length. The length of a line
should only be graded when a maneuver contains several
lines with a given relationship, as in a Top Hat.
Unequal or misrelated lines should be downgraded
according to the severity of the defect.
( 2 ) Whenever a type of roll is placed on a line, the
length of the line before and after the roll must be
b. Loops: A loop should have, to be perfect, a constant
radius. A loop must start and end with a well defined
line which, for a complete loop, should be horizontal.
For a partial loop such lines may be in another plane of
flight, as required by the maneuver.
( 1 ) Partial loops flown as part of the same maneuver
must have identical radii. A slight difference should
downgrade the maneuver by one (1) point, while a more
severe difference may downgrade it by two (2) or three
( 2 ) Excessively tight radii should be downgraded as
this violates the requirement for smoothness and
gracefulness. c. Rolls: Rolls may be flown as individual
maneuvers or as elements of other maneuvers. The
following criteria apply to all rolls:
( 1 ) Roll rate must be constant.
( 2 ) Roll must have a well defined start and stop
( 3 ) All rolls flown on lines between partial loops
must be centered on the line
( 4 ) Point rolls must hesitate with equal time on each
d. Stall Turns: Stall turns consist of lines and partial
loops as well as stall turns.
( 1 ) Lines must have exactly vertical and horizontal
( 2 ) Entry and exit must consist of partial loops with
( 3 ) Length of the vertical line is not a criterion
( 4 ) All rolls must be placed in the center of the
( 5 ) Standard pivot radius is one half (1/2) wingspan.
A pivot of more than one and one half (1-1/2) wingspan
should be considered a defect e. Spins: All spins begin
and are ended by a horizontal line. In order to
accomplish a spin, the model must be stalled. The entry
should be flown in a horizontal path with the nose high
attitude increasing as the speed decreases. The nose
then drops as the model stalls. Simultaneously, the wing
drops in the direction of the spin. The following
criteria apply to spins.
( 1 ) Snap roll or un-stalled entry scores zero
( 2 ) The stop of rotation is judged. An error of 360
degrees or more scores zero
( 3 ) A nearly vertical downward line of visible length
must be flown after the rotation stops. The pull-out is
judged as a partial loop
( 4 ) The attitude of the model during the spin is not a
judging criterion as long as the model is stalled
f. Loop/Roll Combinations: Such combinations are flown
in the Immelman Turn, Double Immelman and the Cuban
Eights. The following criteria apply:
( 1 ) During Immelman maneuvers, the rolls should be
after the loop. A visible line in between should be
( 2 ) In the Cuban 8s, the 1/2 roll should be placed on
the middle of the line. The half rolls should be placed
at the same location of crossover point.