Preparing for the mental arithmetic and making your comments

Prepare for each flight by reading right through the sequence sheet to visualise the key points to look for. During the sequence you will then find it much easier to judge each figure. Experienced Judges have all sorts of different ways of remembering the errors to arrive at the 'right' grade for each figure - preferably at the time but occasionally after the sequence has ended.

Here's a simple and effective method

Discuss out loud what you see - good and bad - as it happens. This will help you to identify the errors you see the pilot make, and your assistant can easily record a sensible critique for the pilot. Say clearly how many degrees you think that the aircraft is under or over pitched, (positive or negative), rolled or yawed (left or right) in 5° steps, and by how much you think the line-lengths are too short or too long before or after the rolling elements. Whilst you are doing this, count on your fingers the total marks to deduct from the figure. All you need do at the finish is take away your running 'digital' total from ten and you immediately have the final grade for the figure.

There are two very good things about this particular technique. Not only will you soon be weighing the pro's and con's of the errors you see, but it is perfect for your assistant to keep a good audit trail of the flight in the comments column. This is important both for the pilot and for you later on.

Sometimes it all happens so quickly that you simply can't make up your mind in time, so just leave grading that figure until the end of the sequence and then you can re-read your comments and compose your answer. If all else fails however you'll have to confess to a "don't know"; if this happens just ask your assistant to mark the figure "Not Seen" in the comments column and put an ‘AV’ mark instead; the computer will convert this to an average of everyone else's grades. All the best Judges do this sometimes, so don't worry!

The sequence ends with a further three wing rocks, at which point you must consider the Positioning mark.