Last year I proposed this in Flying Lines newsletter and talked
it up at contests. It seemed as if I had some folks convinced that this
was worth an experiment in some 2006 contests. Here's the idea:
As a local contest option, Classic Stunt would be divided into sportsman
and expert classes in the same way as we do now in P-40. This would not
involve a rules change; it would simply be something offered by the organizers
of the particular contest.
The class split would be the same as in P-40:
-- Anyone could fly in the expert class.
-- PAMPA experts would not be allowed in the sportsman class.
It should be possible to run contests without much extra burden on the
contest management. At local option, the classes could be flown either separately,
before separate judges, or all together before the same judges. In the latter
scenario, the only extra chore for the contest management would be to figure
out who the top three sportsman fliers are, and to provide an extra set
The rationale for this idea is that, in terms of competition, Classic
is now an experts-only event. Adding a sportsman class would provide an
opportunity for the non-expert fliers to compete for something. Hopefully,
the division would increase participation by making Classic a real competition
for non-expert fliers, in the same way as skill classes helped PA.
Initial reactions to my proposal last year were somewhat predictable:
The response from expert flyers was lukewarm: Why go to the extra trouble;
who needs it? From advanced fliers, the response was considerably more enthusiastic.
After a bit of explanation -- and emphasis on the fact that the split could
be done with minimal extra work for the CD, most of the experts I talked
to came around to the conclusion that it would be at least worth a try.
This was definitely an unscientific survey.
I'm proposing the two-class Classic for the Fall Follies this year, and
am hoping that some other contests try that, too.
There's an informal poll running on the NW Message Boards to see how fliers feel about the idea.
Ultimately, it will happen only if most people favor it. Step over to the
message boards and cast your vote; you can also post your thoughts about
the proposal there. I'll be glad to post any major editorial on the subject
here in the FL Aerobatics section as well.
This page was upated April