Aerobatic Judges: What do they really need to see?

The 2021 exchange via Zoom will be in Saturday 20th March, starting at 14:00 UTC

We had planned to run our usual informative seminar at Sywell this year, but of course the Covid-19 virus situation has unfortunately meant we have had to cancel it.

Instead we will be running an "Online exchange" for an hour or two for Pilots, Judges and all others interested -

  • Firstly to review the CIVA Judge and Pilot Currency Test from WAC 2017 (click here to get your copy), and subsequently
  • To discuss and explore how to conduct the aeroplane so that it presents the figures in the best possible way for Judges to see and grade.

To get a link to this online Zoom exchange - drop an email to Nick Buckenham and just ask!  Nick is at:

Judging competition aerobatic flights

Competition aerobatic flights, just like Olympic skating, diving and many other creative performances in world sport, are to the true insider a game of two parts: the ace in the sky, on the ice, above the water - twisting and turning to perfection - connected by invisible geometric sight-lines to the judges on the ground who ultimately make all the real decisions ... who wins, who comes second and so on.

Learning to fly, and then learning to fly aerobatics competition style takes a big chunk of most pilot’s lives. If you think you have a good eye and a quick brain, learning to be an aerobatic Judge and playing an active role at the other end of the equation is much easier. From the judging line you can enjoy absolutely the best seat in the house and be a real expert - but with a free lunch and your feet firmly on the ground.

Learning How to Judge and, therefore, how judges expect Pilots to fly their figures

The British Aerobatic Association normally runs a comprehensive Aerobatic Judging Seminar every year (but not in 2021 ... as explained above). This seminar is aimed at everyone from beginner Judge to expert, and it definitely includes Pilots to ensure that they know what the judges want to see. The seminar starts at 09:00 and cover both power and glider categories (they do have their differences!) and if the weather plays ball there will be an afternoon session judging some sequences flown overhead the airfield.

Where to from there?

Once you have your foot on the judging ladder, the BAeA will welcome you and your skills at the whole range of UK national events. If the urge takes you it is possible to progress from here all the way up the ladder to Continental and World championships. The basics and the theory remain the same; it’s the rising complexity that requires just a bit more effort ...

The Contest Director and Chief Judge Workshop 2021 is on Sunday 21st March starting at 0900

Managing the Competition

Once again unfortunately this workshop has had to be cancelled. Under normal circumstances all members who have agreed to take on the role of either Contest Director or Chief Judge should attend. During the morning we cover all the essential preparations as well as a detailed look at completing the risk assessment requirements.

Useful documents to download and print in advance are: