The "Free Known" programmes

International aerobatic sequence formats

After many years using a Known, a Free and then some Unknown sequences, the Known and the Free programmes were in 2016 combined by CIVA into a 10 figure "Free Known" sequence. To compensate for the 'two-into-one' change that the Free Known has introduced there are now three Free Unknown programmes for power, while for gliders there is one Free Unknown and up to three Unknown Compulsories.

What about domestic events?

The BAeA must primarily encourage ab-initio aerobatic pilots to safely develop through their first steps in aerobatics, and provide a comprehensive structure for those who progress to the upper levels. The Association considers that this new format is too big a step however until pilots have at least achieved Intermediate status. Club and Sports level pilots have their work cut out learning the ropes the simplest way possible, and so these two lower power and glider categories remain unchanged and pilots have carefully prepared season-long Known sequences to learn and fly.

BAeA Intermediate, Advanced and Unlimited UK competitions in 2017

For these three upper levels the Association employs the Free Known programme format for both power and glider events. To complement the five 'Known' figures for each category we also publish a 'Default Free Known' as an example of what can be achieved - the power Intermediate / Yak-52 Free Known Default for 2017 has been "decoded" as an example below with blue and green annotations. Be aware however that these "default" sequences may not be what you would ideally prefer to fly, though if you don't submit your own sequence when requested ahead of an event it is the one you will have to fly anyway.

To provide Unknown sequences the Association's sequence designers will normally provide ready-made solutions for use on the day. At longer events such as the Nationals the BAeA will include one Free Unknown to supplement the ready-made Unknowns.

What follows here aims to explain all you need to know for the programme-1 Free Known sequence for the Intermediate, Advanced and Unlimited classes at BAeA competitions in 2017. Shown below are the sets of five 'Known' figures that you must use when designing your Free Known programmes. You will also find Instruction Sheets for both Power and Glider Free Known sequences in the BAeA Sequence Archive, along with Visio Aresti ".vsd" and OpenAero ".seq" files with the 5 Known figures for each category that you can download and use as the basis for your own sequence design.

Intermediate power / Yak52 (maximum allowed sequence K = 200)

Advanced power (maximum allowed sequence K = 320)

Unlimited power (maximum allowed sequence K = 450)

Intermediate glider (maximum allowed sequence K = 140)

Advanced glider (maximum allowed sequence K = 175)

Unlimited glider (maximum allowed sequence K = 230)

Instructions for creating your Free Known sequence

In the Intermediate, Advanced and Unlimited power and glider categories you must use the relevant 'Known' figures above unchanged. Each may individually be oriented into wind, down wind or cross-box in either direction as you prefer. To create your personal Free Known sequence you must add five 'Free' figures of your own choice. The sequence can use the ten figures in any order, must meet the relevant Free Known figure versatility regulations (ref. below), and the maximum K value must not exceed theBAeA 2017 Int default Free Known limits given above.

The BAeA power Intermediate / Yak-52 Default Free Known for 2017 is exampled here on the right, annotated to identify the A-E Known and five Free figures used.

Intermediate, Advanced and Unlimited power pilots should refer to CIVA's 2017 Section-6 part 1 Power regulations (see the CIVA News Document Store at and use the versatility requirements set out in the Free sequence paragraphs there.

Advanced and Unlimited glider pilots should refer to the CIVA 2017 Glider part 2 regulations (also in the Document Store) for a description of what is required for both of these categories.

Submitting your sequence

You will be required to submit your personal Free Known sequence by email to the BAeA office no later than the closing date for each event so that there is time for us to prepare all the judges paperwork before we get to the contest. Your sequence file can be in either Visio Aresti or OpenAero format, and it must clearly show which of your ten figures are the 'Known' ones using the standard A-E identifying letters above, as these are essential for the scoring software. Each of these sequence design applications has its own way to set these identifying letters - don't leave this part of the job to the office, it will not be done for you and if they aren't then you can look forward to flying the default sequence.

For power pilots

  • Before starting their sequence, pilots are entitled to fly the normal warm-up figures plus up to the first five of their own Free Known sequence figures. Performing any other figure(s) during this warm-up will incur an interruption penalty per occurrence.
  • All such pre-sequence figures must be flown above the minimum height specified for the category or the relevant penalties will be awarded.
  • The time limit for the Free Known programme 1 remains 10 minutes, at which point the Chief Judge will call "Time, time, time" and figures performed after this will not be marked.

For glider pilots

  • In Free Known sequences the sum of the normal figure coefficients may be as large as 233 (UNL), 178 (ADV) or 143 (INT) but will be reduced to 230 (UNL), 175 (ADV) or 140 (INT), starting with the highest value, by removing one point from the highest coefficient Free (not Known!) figure that has not had a point removed. On judging forms the original figure coefficient must be given as well as the reduced value.

If you have any questions - for power pilots the BAeA Head of Competition Brian McCartney should be the first port of call, for glider pilots your BAeA Glider Representative Paul Conran should have the answer.