Sports & Intermediate British National Championships, 2017 results

With a leisurely briefing time of 10:00 there was plenty of time for all arrivals on day one of the Junior Nationals. With an almost full complement we were underway in good time.

As part of any competition there are a suite of required elements to be covered as part of the initial briefing that enable us to meet our responsibility as both contest organisers and the organisation responsible for aerobatic contests with the UK. This might lead the seasoned competition pilots to have heard similar briefings but it is a necessary delivery and is intended to keep the competitors, spectators and non-competing pilots safe throughout the competition period.

With the official announcements completed the briefing was called to a close and we aimed to have the first pilot airborne by 11:00.

Following a non-competing pilot performing a cloud base check at 11:00 and confirming it was 3050 feet ,the first pilot in the sports class, Jake Cook, was away at 11:20 for the first comp flight. Yes, we’re away!

Initial progress was slow as the first few pilots made their way into the box and brushed off the cobwebs. Fortunately this pace increased and by 13:15 when lunch was made available to the judging contingent there had been 10 pilots put through their paces.

The unfortunate coming together of a runway marker and the wing of the S2A, BTTR meant the competition for both Olivia and David was in jeopardy while they tried to find a suitable fabric specialist to provide an expert opinion. Ultimately they weren't able to compete in their own S2A but the kindly offer of another S2A from Jez was accepted and Dave got to fly his sequences in due course.

Following the lunch break on day 1, flying resumed at 14:00 with John Royce, sitting on the other side of the judging fence for the first time in a while and shortly thereafter the intermediate class started with Mr Evans leading the charge.

Some inclement weather had been predicted for mid-afternoon but with only a 40% probability, so we all watched as there were several outbreaks around us and looked skyward (as if we weren’t already) as a few spots of rain landed about 16:30. Not a problem you might think and it certainly shouldn't be for the biplane Pitts crews but the laminar flow wings of the monoplanes don’t fly safely in such circumstances so it is crucial to make a swift decision if the rain actually started.

The INT free known was completed by 17:00 and following a short break to allow the judges a paperwork switch the sports crew were under way at 17:15 with Jake again leading the charge with the first unknown sequence.

The threat of rain continued throughout the afternoon and small amounts fell off and on until the close of play at 18:00 when it was finally time for a cold beverage!

A much more lively start time on the Friday with the initial briefing at 08:00 had me rolling into the car park with less than a minute to spare to find all the participants waiting with smiley faces and fresh coffee, clearly I had everything well organised ;-)

After a review of the previous days flying, we had the first pilot in Martin Luton lined up and ready at 08:45 to make his way into the performance zone!

This was now becoming a slick operation and following the remaining SPO pilots the INT class started their first unknown sequence just after 11:00 with Steve Evans following a quick comfort break for the judges.

A little confusion started to ensue as some of the INT pilots decided they would use the free known practice figure process for the unknown sequence which was followed with a reminder of the rules for all the INT participants. The INT class completed just before lunch with Dave Hall flying a lovely unknown in the S2A.

The SPO class commenced Programme 3 after lunch with Jake launching at 14:30.

For all 3 days the forecast was for sporadic showers and low cloud from the mid-afternoon point, but we were lucky that it never actually impacted us. There were showers surrounding us at some points but the inclement weather force field was in full effect, thankfully.

Toward the end of the day there was a tech fault with GEEEK, the extra 200 based at Conington, which was being used by almost 50% of the sports class. Luckily it was only minor and we were able to get all but the last SPO flight completed and pushed onto the INT class with the first 4 pilots making headway before the 18:00 curfew.

Friday evening is the official competition dinner so there was a scramble down the A1 to Spiceland for a veritable plethora of spicy dishes which most of us enjoyed along with a couple of well-earned cold drinks!

It was clear early on that we would struggle to complete all 4 sequences across both classes due to the number of entrants. In total there were 30 pilots across the 2 classes which equates to approx. 20 hours of flying in 3 days. There is provision within the rules for a maximum of a 50% cut which then favours the pilots who are leading the field to enable them to complete as many programmes as possible. To that end the decision was made to introduce a cut to the SPO class and as a result of most INT pilots flying on the Saturday morning they would only fly the P3 sequence therefore not expecting them to fly again after such a short break.

The initial briefing for the last day included a gentle reminder of the rules for warm up versus practice figures and the sequences for which they are allowed.

We’d had so much luck in terms of weather, it had to change! I’m not entirely sure there has been a UK comp on record that hasn’t had at least one break for weather…and so it started! Mist and fog stopped play in the morning until 11:00 so with a little prompting all the pilots where on the case as it started to clear and we launched shortly after to complete the last sports class pilot in John Royce and finalise the P3 programme for SPO.

First to start at INT was David heard who fired up at 11:30 and was quickly followed by Graeme Fudge at 11:50. The INT class was running smooth as clockwork until Alex decided he didn’t like the internal wiring on his S2E and spent the next hour soldering it all back together. Fortunately he was able to fix the headset wiring and as a result the final flight of the P3 programme for INT was completed by 15:30.

Once the competitors are all back on terra firma having successfully and safely flown all that remains is to thank the teams that assisted in bringing the contest to bear; the airfield operators in Julie and Gavin, the catering team headed by Sarah, Jim and his team who repeatedly refuelled all the aircraft, the engineering team who fix and caress every broken part and certainly not forgetting the hours spent in the radio tower guiding and advising all the combatants.

The BAeA also provides its own fair share of event management without which it would be impossible to operate the contests.

I’m not entirely sure what the collective noun for judges and assistants is but Brian and his parade sounds about right ☺, many thanks to their stoicism on the line while the rest of us were eating burgers and ice cream, without whom we wouldn’t have a contest! And last but certainly not least, to the scoring director, Jen and her very able assistant Sam. Many thanks to all.

Hopefully we will see you all at Leicester for the Tiger trophy?

Chris Sills, Contest Director

Intermediate National Championship 2017

Rank Pilot Aeroplane Registration Fr/Known Unkwn #1 Unkwn #2 Totals O/all %
1 Kris Liesmons Extra 200 G-TWOO 1821.43 1627.85 1800.47 5249.74 77.202
2 Matt Morris Extra 200 G-TWOO 1809.51 1590.08 1690.06 5089.65 74.848
3 Alex Cartwright Pitts S-2E G-KITI 1650.56 1556.16 1849.50 5056.23 74.356
4 James Page Extra 200 G-EEEK 1678.27 1496.38 1787.43 4962.08 72.972
5 David Heard Extra 200 G-TWOO 1375.74 1595.38 1853.98 4825.09 70.957
6 Graeme Fudge CAP 232 G-GODV 1538.51 1386.93 1856.61 4782.05 70.324
7 Stephen Evans Laser 200 G-CBHR 1490.20 1444.03 1781.26 4715.49 69.345
8 David Slater Pitts S-1T G-BKPZ 1679.88 1431.76 1568.35 4679.99 68.823
9 Jez Burgoin Pitts S-2A N-80035 1479.70 1560.87 1636.54 4677.12 68.781
10 Anthony Walsh Extra 200 G-OLUD 1519.16 1507.75 1562.45 4589.37 67.491
11 Harri Kanto Extra 200 G-EEEK 1454.08 1470.19 1622.21 4546.48 66.860
12 Dave Farley CAP 231 G-GKKI 1609.02 1363.31 1488.54 4460.87 65.601
13 David Hall Pitts S-2A G-BTTR 890.86 1435.45 1625.66 3951.97 58.117
14 Richard Welch Pitts S-1S G-WIGY 1693.48 1014.21 2707.69 39.819

Contest Director: Chris Sills, Contest Chief Judge: Brian McCartney, Scoring Director: Jen Buckenham

Judges: Brian McCartney, Eric Marsh, Ian Scott, Leif Culpin, Nick Buckenham, John Scott,

Judges Assistants: Julie Wood, Julie Lawley, Karin Reidl, Adrian Cornwall, Steve Todd, Olivia Arsene, Ada Arsene, Steve Evans

Other key staff: Sam Hewitt - Asst Scorer

FairPlay SystemACRO Version 4.2 Build: 18/08/17

Sports National Championship 2017

Rank Pilot Aeroplane Registration Known Unk 1 Unk 2 Unk 3 Totals O/all %
1 Maciej Kulaszewski Extra 200 G-EEEK 1112.84 880.87 1014.48 1010.82 4019.01 76.699
2 Alan Murphy CAP 231 G-IIAI 1113.56 814.37 1003.02 959.98 3890.93 74.254
3 George Haye Pitts S-1T N-697JR 1077.76 750.32 1065.89 945.71 3839.67 73.276
4 Jake Cook Extra 200 G-EEEK 1071.76 890.80 887.02 990.01 3839.58 73.275
5 Martin Luton RV-8 G-DAZZ 1065.88 686.11 1011.02 959.49 3722.49 71.040
6 Neil Whitehead Slingsby T67M G-CIKS 1019.56 729.77 994.42 947.67 3691.42 70.447
7 Iain Smith Pitts M-12 G-PMIZ 1035.19 825.66 883.72 927.13 3671.69 70.070
8 Simon Wood Pitts S-1S G-HOON 1019.65 758.42 976.20 891.32 3645.60 69.572
9 Duncan Cumberlidge Acro Sport G-TSOL 1063.82 898.35 722.89 2685.06 51.242
10 Stephen Smartt Extra 200 G-EEEK 1057.48 748.24 875.50 2681.22 51.168
11 Ruth Scott Slingsby T67M G-BNSP 982.62 704.00 945.77 2632.39 50.237
12 Sebastian Zytomski Extra 200 G-EEEK 996.90 615.55 818.68 2431.12 46.396
13 Matt Kitson Extra 200 G-EEEK 959.50 636.19 751.05 2346.74 44.785
14 John Royce Extra 200 G-EEEK 952.96 586.76 1539.72 29.384

Contest Director: Chris Sills, Contest Chief Judge: Brian McCartney, Scoring Director: Jen Buckenham

Judges: Brian McCartney, Eric Marsh, Ian Scott, Leif Culpin, Nick Buckenham, John Scott,

Judges Assistants: Julie Wood, Julie Lawley, Karin Reidl, Adrian Cornwall, Steve Todd, Olivia Arsene, Ada Arsene, Steve Evans

Other key staff: Sam Hewitt - Asst Scorer

FairPlay SystemACRO Version 4.2 Build: 18/08/17