Direction of flight

Figures that are drawn with the sequence starting and finishing on the 'main axis' of the box must be flown either into or away from the official wind, in accordance with the wind arrow on the Form-B/C sequence drawing.

Figures that start on the main axis and finish on the secondary axis, or vice-versa, must be flown with the main axis section towards or away from the official wind in accordance with the wind arrow, but the secondary or cross-axis section may be flown towards or away from the judges - in other words, the direction of the cross-axis flight is at the discretion of the pilot, who may turn from axis-A to axis-B to the left or right in order to position the aeroplane to the best advantage under the circumstances. Such decisions usually reflect the influence that the wind is having on sequence positioning.

Some figures that start and finish on the secondary axis but which have elements within them that are flown temporarily along the main-axis must follow these restrictions:  Family 1 and 8 figures must be flown in strictly as they are shown on the form-B/C relation to the official wind.

Thus the central element in the above example figures 1 and 3 must be flown into wind, figures 2 and 4 downwind, or you should regard them as ‘wrongly flown’ and award an HZ. Cross-box to cross-box 180° and 360° turns and rolling turns however are exempted from this obligation, the L/R direction of the turn being at the pilots’ discretion.

Stall turns and tail slides are also unaffected by the above, the orientation of the aeroplane at the top being entirely dictated by other natural choices or constraints.

If the pilot elects to take a 'break' or interruption on the secondary axis then

  • If the break is taken following a correctly flown figure then the restart direction must be the same as that before the break was taken - if the restart is made in the opposite direction then every ensuing cross-box figure must receive a hard zero (flight in the wrong direction) until the error is rectified or flight along the main axis is resumed.
  • After a penalized interruption, there is no obligation for the pilot to resume the sequence in a direction determined by the flight before the interruption.
  • You must therefore maintain a constant awareness of the 'correct' or 'allowable' direction of flight of and within each figure, and make sure to apply the relevant penalty should any of the above rules not be met.