Lesson 112
25 June 1999
Acro Lesson 15

I didn't feel quite my best today, but the loops and cuban-eights went pretty well with only a bare minimum of coaching from John, and on the loops I could feel that nice brrrrp at the bottom as we flew through our own propwash.

The hammerheads went  ...well, I'm getting better at them.

Loops-into-slow-rolls were going well, too--it's great fun to connect maneuvers smoothly like that--but after a couple of them, that "didn't feel quite my best" feeling began interacting with the fast axis changes and I decided to call it a day a few minutes early.  Some days are better than others (or vice versa).  It would be nice if the inner ears would quit complaining about going around and around.  It never seems to bother Greenwood at all, but about 20 minutes of continuous aerobatics is about all my head will put up with, even on a good day.

Now it's two days later.  In the interim I watched Greenwood do his show performance twice at the Virginia EAA Fly-In at PTB.  It's entirely different now, watching him do the maneuvers that I've been working on myself.  I can more or less feel what he's doing and almost see what he's seeing.  Well, sort of.  The truth is, he does the easy maneuvers hard, always pushing them into something more subtle and much more difficult than I can do them.  I struggle to do a hammerhead; he does it with vertical rolls going up and down.  I do an egg-shaped loop; he does a perfect outside loop

During his second show, there was one moment when I got a little worried.  He works low, as he likes to say.  He does a snap roll immediately after takeoff and another over the end of the runway on landing.  (Actually, it's probably safer than it looks, as he pulls up sharply before beginning the roll.  He's still maybe 20 feet off the ground, but he's heading upward and probably reaches 50 feet, or so halfway through the snap roll.  He dives back to 20 feet after he gets rightside up, to make it look riskier.  But after his snap roll on takeoff in that second show he was low and from where I stood he seemed to be slipping hard to the left, and I was afraid he'd stall.  He didn't, of course.  But maybe I'll ask him about it next time.

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