Guidance & advice for competing in a contest

Over many years, British Aerobatics has achieved an enviable reputation for the efficient and safe organisation of aerobatic contests. This knowledge is set out in our General Rules and in our Operations Manual, which can be downloaded from the Rules and Documents page of this website.

This note provides a brief introduction for pilots; it is however no substitute for reading through the General Rules and other articles on this comprehensive website.

Open Club events

Aspiring aerobatic pilots new to this sport are strongly advised to investigate British Aerobatics 'Open' Club events, at least one of which is held each year. For these we organise a small number of two-seat aerobatic aeroplanes with instructors in attendance, so that you can hire a slot in one and participate merely by turning up and paying for your flight time.

The format of the day is that pilots fly a practice session in the morning away from the airfield to learn the designated Club sequence for the year. On return they get a de-brief from their instructors, and then fly the sequence again in the afternoon over the airfield in the aerobatic box and in front of a judge. These are extremely popular days, and an early review of the contest calendar is necessary to secure an entry.

Prepare well in advance

  • Before entering a contest, a pilot must demonstrate that he is safe to compete at his chosen level
  • Print out a copy of “Pilot Proficiency Scheme: the Flight Evaluation Process
  • Have an early discussion with a Flight Evaluator who can offer training advice
  • Complete the flight evaluation and send the report to the British Aerobatics office as soon as possible. Do not wait until entering the contest. You need a fresh flight evaluation as you progress upwards through each level
  • Decide which aircraft you will be flying:
    • Check that the Flight Manual permits the figures for your chosen level
    • Arrange for the insurance to cover aerobatic contests

Entering the contest

The pages on this web contain a great deal of information on entering a British Aerobatics contest. Links are also provided to a number of other contest-related issues.

  • Thoroughly read the details of the contest you wish to enter on this website.
  • Use the link on the contest regulations page to access the online contest entry and fee payment system. If you can't do this online, print the pdf version and submit it by post with the appropriate fee.
  • Any entries received after the closing date are liable to a surcharge of 50% of the basic entry fee.
  • This is your last chance to submit a Flight Evaluation form.
  • If competing at Intermediate or above, this is also your last chance to submit a Free Known sequence or the default sequence will have to be flown.

Pilot Validity

Any pilot holding a current pilot's licence, medical and rating (if required), issued in the UK or by an organisation recognised by the UK CAA, and who can prove they are proficient at a chosen level of aerobatics to one of our appointed Flight Evaluators, may enter our competitions. This is subject to their joining as a Member and to our acceptance of the contest entry. Membership of the British Aerobatic Association (BAeA) is mandatory for all competitors and officials attending British Aerobatic contests and events.

The Entry Form should either be completed on-line or printed and posted to the Membership Secretary to arrive by the contest closing date. Don't forget to include your entry fee.

Entry Fees

Contest entry applications must be accompanied by the appropriate (published) entry fee. Competitors entering a Club event may also enter the same contest ain the Sports class, to gain experience prior to competing formally at the higher level. Acceptance of such entries will be at the discretion of the Contest Director, based on the number of contestants attending and the time available, and the competitor will be considered ‘hors concours’ at the higher level.

'Free Known' sequences at Intermediate, Advanced and Unlimited

When a Free Known sequence is to be flown, pilots must send by email a copy of their sequence file in digital format, either as an Aresti Visio .vsd file or an OpenAero .seq file, when their contest entry is registered. If this sequence file is not received by the contest closing date or is not already held at the British Aerobatics office, then that pilot must fly the default Free Known sequence published for the season for that class.

Entries must include

  • The completed Entry Form - preferably online, or if you can't do this then send it by post.
  • The Entry Fee or you will be surcharged!
  • A digital copy (an Aresti Visio or OpenAero file) of any Free Known Programme Sequence.

Overseas Competitors

A competitor normally residing overseas who is not ordinarily a member of the British Aerobatics, but is a member of an equivalent recognised aerobatic governing body and whose pilot’s license is recognised by the UK CAA, may also enter a UK competition. This is subject to payment of the normal entry fee and the membership fee. Pilots may be required to fly a demonstration sequence to prove their competence in the entered class.

Competitors should contact the Head of Contest Organisation (HCO) for more information.

All entries not submitted online must be sent to

For power and glider contests:  Jen Buckenham, Membership Secretary, 84 Green End Road, Sawtry, Cambs. PE28 5UZ.

On arrival at the event

Do not arrive late for the briefing! Late arrivals may not be allowed to fly, or may be permitted to fly only as H/C.

  • Your Pilot's Licence
  • Your Medical Certificate
  • Your Glider logbook / Currency Check
  • Your Membership Card
  • Your aircraft's EASA ARC/Permit to Fly
  • Your aircraft's current Certificate of Insurance which is endorsed for Aerobatic Contests, and meets the minimum SDR requirements for Combined Single Limit Indemnity in accordance with Article 7 of Regulation (EEC) No. 785/2004 (or the required MOD minimum if different when the contest is held on an MOD airfield). 
  • You will also be asked to confirm that the aircraft is serviceable and that you are medically fit to fly it by signing the Contestants' Declaration form.

For all general queries or to obtain information on any other aspect of contest operations please contact either the Membership Secretary or the Head of Contest Organisation (HCO).