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  1. #1

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    First contest

    Got my first contest under my belt. Of course I'm going basic.
    Rained all day Friday but got in 2 practice flights. Rained all day Saturday no breaks at all.
    Sunday it cleared got in my simulated unknowns with a score of 924 but couldn't figure out why the plane was so twitchy. I was in high rates.
    Now the wind begins to really blow over 15 on the ground 45 to80 deg crosswind and worse at altitude where I embrassed myself completely.
    Bottom line I didn't have a great time is it common to feel like this after your first contest

  2. #2
    bubbagates's Avatar
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    RE: First contest


    ORIGINAL: jetmech05

    Got my first contest under my belt. Of course I'm going basic.
    Rained all day Friday but got in 2 practice flights. Rained all day Saturday no breaks at all.
    Sunday it cleared got in my simulated unknowns with a score of 924 but couldn't figure out why the plane was so twitchy. I was in high rates.
    Now the wind begins to really blow over 15 on the ground 45 to80 deg crosswind and worse at altitude where I embrassed myself completely.
    Bottom line I didn't have a great time is it common to feel like this after your first contest
    Actually yes and no

    Yes meaning that you will find out that somethings are not as easy as they look and that IMAC will fly in winds higher than you are used to. The beauty of this is when you are at your home field and everyone is leaving because of winds, you will be laughing at then and heading abck into the air. That skill does not happen overnight, be patient and learn what the rudder can really do for you. It will confuse at first as to which correction you need, but you will get it

    No meaning that you also faced some weather. We also flew this weekend in the NE, two contests to be exact and both had excellent weather with winds about the same as what you had.

    We all embarrass ourselves all the time so that's normal. Think back to when we all flew 72mhz. When I was up there is front of the judges that nice long antennae would give me away. The tip was always shaking so bad it was clearly visible. At times, if you are in the judges chair or being a scribe for a judge, you can hear the pilots cursing themselves out for making a mistake or even lughing at themselves

    Ok, since I mentioned a scribe, what a scribe does is writes down whatever score the judge tells him, it's that easy, but if you are lucky enough and it's actually pretty often, youwill have a really good judge that will take as much time as they can and explain a bit as to why the pilot got the score he got. Not all judges do this. I do, I'll grab a basic pilot as a scribe and when I am judging the higher classes those pilots are flying a lot slower (experience) and it sometimes gives me time to explain why I gave the score I did. This is very valuable and will make things much easier for you.

    Also, never forget the first rule of IMAC, HAVE FUN. Even the high class pilots are very friendly. Yes as in everything you may run into someone that is not very friendly, but in my experience, and 12 years of doing this, I have seen it 2 or 3 times and I've been flying and judging quite a few contests all over the country.

    One final thing, practice, practice and practice some more. Always practice with the plane you intend to fly IAMC with and skill is at the bottom of your fuel can.jug (meaning burn lots of fuel)

    You appear to be in the SE region, that region is loaded with a lot of great people that will help you, all you have to do is ask. I can put you in touch with the regional director who can help you get together with other IMAC pilots that will be more than willing to work with you
    Bill James

    IMAC NorthEast Regional Director
    2009-2010
    2013-2014

  3. #3

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    RE: First contest

    I've been working with a couple of folks. Thank you anyway

  4. #4
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    RE: First contest

    I've never met a first timer at a competition that wasn't feeling embarassed or even angry with themselves at the end of the first contest, yours truly included. You come to your first competition because you think you've been doing everything by the book, only to find out that the standard is really high. But as you continue to practice and compete, you find that your standards continually rise. Eventually you learn that flying IMAC is a completely different set of skills than you've been practicing on Saturdays and Sundays throwing the plane around. I hate to think how many times I've been out practicing, thinking to myself how bad my figures look, only to have the unpracticed spectator comment on how good it looks! I say thank you, and then keep working on the errors I know I'm making.

    The 924 on your simulated unknown means that you were doing pretty close to how the other basic pilots were scoring - not bad at all for a first time out. Find those experienced pilots, listen to the coaching, and keep competing. Don't move up quicker than your ready. A couple years in Basic, then Sportsman is time well spent. And as Bill said - HAVE FUN!

    Brad

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    RE: First contest

    Thanx Brad

  6. #6
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    RE: First contest

    So far the other two guys are spot on. There really is no way to know exactly what you are getting into until you are there and participating. I would be curious to know what airplane and equipment you have. Reason for this is when I take on coaching someone I like to make sure the airplane is dialed in so the pilot can concentrate on flying and not fighting the airplane. Flying in the wind is more work for the pilot but having the airplane trimmed well will reduce your workload even in strong winds. Your comments about the airplane being twitchy and the crosswind giving you difficulty leads me to believe the airplane could use some work. From there it would be a matter of productive practice. What I mean by that is to come up with a practice plan. For guys just starting out I suggest the first flight of the session being level passes 200 ft high and 200 ft out with turn around maneuvers at each end. This will really help with positioning and holding box depth. In order to go back and forth holding the same altitude and depth will require lots of rudder work. The sooner you can become master of the rudder the sooner you will see scores that will make you proud.
    Of course it's true, I read it on the Internet.

  7. #7

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    RE: First contest

    The airplane was twitchy because i flew most of the sequence in high rates...this is what happens when you take someone out of their normal routine....my mental check list was interupted by the way we were taking off. The airplane is fine it was my thumbs that were the problem lol

  8. #8
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    RE: First contest

    Jet, while you read this post please keep in mind that I am attempting to help you. I have helped many new IMAC pilots and a few of them have gone on to be very ssuccessful. As for me, I started in 1997 and by 2007 I had worked my way up to Unlimited. Airplane setup is a key part to being successful in IMAC. You say that your airplane is set up well and I don,t really want to argue the point however I have sat in the judges chair many times and I have seen very few basic pilots with well set up airplanes. Like I said this is only an effort on my part to help you and make your next IMAC contest more enjoyable. Im assuming you took an airplane that you had previously been sport flying and entered the contest. Did you make any adjustments to better suit the airplane to contest flying?
    Of course it's true, I read it on the Internet.

  9. #9
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    RE: First contest

    We are all trying to help. That's the beauty of IMAC versus most other competitions. We help each other. I've done at least 100 IMAC Primers (training sessions) let alone loads of time judging and I'd have to agree, it's rare a Basic pilot has a well trimmed plane. Unless you go through Peter Goldsmiths trim chart step by step, I can be certain the plane needs work. If you have not already done so, there is a really good App for Android Called Trim App. It's by Nick White, He also has one called IMAC Pro, also for Android. I have the IMAC Pro app for Apple devices and it includes a lite version of Nick's trim app. Both of these apps can really help you.

    Oh we have all taken off with the wrong switch setting chosen. Been there and done that more times than I want to admit, not to mention leaving my snap switch on when I need all my rudder to do a hammerhead. I may be a lowlly Sportsman pilot but I've have loads of contest experience. I;m still in sportsman because of various reasons, one of them is health, the other is a serious lack of practice time

    IMAC is what you make of it. Try not to go into it as I'm going to kick everyone butt, I go into a contest with the idea of fun first and if I happen to place well, so much the better. There will always be times where you will feel embarrassed and in an unfamiliar setting. You'll be at locations you have never been to before and that alone can have an effect on you, but as you start to relax and have fun, that will all go away. Can I actually fly the higher classes, Yep, sure can, can I fly them good enough to compete, not really, (rollers really screw with me and since I'm sponsored by my own Visa card, I see dollars signs when I do a bad roller)

    I know the SE does them, go to a Basic ONLY event if you can, even if you have flown a contest before, In the NE region we have a couple of experienced pilots that all they do is watch the current flight and then give out pointers, we are doing one in MD in a couple of weeks. The list of pilots is basically 3/4s of them having flown before but are coming to get pointers and more experience

    Honestly, if you really want to get great info, go over to the IMAC website and ask IMAC questions there. The SE region is highly active over there
    Bill James

    IMAC NorthEast Regional Director
    2009-2010
    2013-2014

  10. #10

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    RE: First contest

    Thank you every body I have an unlimited flyer helping me. I feel better today and am thinking of the next event I may shoot for

  11. #11
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    RE: First contest

    it's a standing offer if you have any questions. Airplane setup, contest logistics, judging criteria, flying technique, Im more then willing to show what I have learned over the past 15 years.

    Bobby, when I first started doing rollers I was using elevator only to fly the airplane through the circle. I saw Jeff Szuber using the rudder to slide the airplane while upright and inverted and elevator while at knife. I tried it and made a huge difference. The other ting is to make sure you don't have a cross couple between rudder and elevator. Most airplanes do. An aft CG will make it worse. I run slightly forward CG and a rudder to elevator mix so that a rudder input will only yaw the airplane. without this when doing an inside roller the airplane wants to go to the outside on the first quarter of your roll.

    Of course it's true, I read it on the Internet.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by bubbagates View Post
    Actually yes and no

    Yes meaning that you will find out that somethings are not as easy as they look and that IMAC will fly in winds higher than you are used to. The beauty of this is when you are at your home field and everyone is leaving because of winds, you will be laughing at then and heading abck into the air.

    I have been curious about what wind speed to cut off my practice sessions. I will be flying my first IMAC contest next month and don't have much help at my club. What is the "cut-off" wind speed?

    Thanks in advance.

  13. #13
    speedracerntrixie's Avatar
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    Most CD's will continue with a contest until the wind gets close to 20 mph, your practice should follow suit unless your skill set would be putting your airplane at risk.

  14. #14
    bkdavy's Avatar
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    We had a basic only event earlier this year where we were probably getting in excess of 25mph gusts. We flew. Everybody has the same handicap.

    Brad

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    It's the CD's decision. My first year in Basic I had to fly in 30MPH gusts in a contest in OK. I learned a lot about how to wind correct.
    K-Bob. The K is silent. \"The only time you can have too much fuel is if you are on fire\"

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by speedracerntrixie View Post
    Most CD's will continue with a contest until the wind gets close to 20 mph, your practice should follow suit unless your skill set would be putting your airplane at risk.
    I've been practicing up to 15 mph. I'll step that up a bit. At my club, I have the field to myself at 10 mph.

    Thanks

  17. #17

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    I attended my first contest this weekend. The Ocala Scale Aerobatics. What a blast. Man, you guys fly some BIG airplanes. I have to say that everyone at the contest was as kind and helpful as possible. Thanks to those who helped me. I will definitely be back, with a bigger airplane.

    To anyone thinking about trying IMAC, I would say give it a shot. Yes, it is a competition, but you are really only competing against yourself.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by akbowen View Post
    I attended my first contest this weekend. The Ocala Scale Aerobatics. What a blast. Man, you guys fly some BIG airplanes. I have to say that everyone at the contest was as kind and helpful as possible. Thanks to those who helped me. I will definitely be back, with a bigger airplane.

    To anyone thinking about trying IMAC, I would say give it a shot. Yes, it is a competition, but you are really only competing against yourself.
    That is usually the outcome of people's first contest. Fun with lots of folks trying to help you. Even your competition!
    K-Bob. The K is silent. \"The only time you can have too much fuel is if you are on fire\"


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