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Aerial Aerobatics Option

When flying with us you may request to add aerobatics to your flight. Barrel Rolls, Cravats, Hammerheads, & S-turns…within reason course, your safety and enjoyment is our primary concern. Please ask about aerial aerobatics before you embark on your journey.

Below, enjoy a list of cool aerobatic terms and history.


Aerobatic box – Term for three-dimensional volume of airspace used for competition flying.

Barrel roll – A “corkscrew” roll in which the plane does not stay on its main axis. Not a competition maneuver.

Cravat – A climbing ruade to the right.

Eventail – A spin in which the aircraft’s vertical axis is perpindicular to the ground.

G – A measure of the force of gravity on Earth, equal to 9.8 meters per second squared. Climbing or diving in an aircraft can change the “G” forces felt by the plane’s occupants. Climbing up — pulling back on the control stick — creates “positive Gs.” Too many positive Gs will cause blackout; too many negative Gs will cause redout. Diving — pushing forward on the stick — creates “negative Gs.” The body is much better equipped to handle positive Gs. It is frequently easier on the body to invert a plane and pull back into a “climb,” thereby losing altitude, than simply pushing forward on the stick from an upright position.

Hammerhead – An aerobatic maneuver in that begins with a quarter loop into a vertical climb until the aircraft runs out of speed, followed by a 180-degree pivot on the plane’s vertical axis into a nose-down dive, ending with another half-loop. Sometimes called a “hammerhead stall” — this is incorrect; the airplane never actually stalls.

Hestitation roll – Also called a point roll. A roll that includes stops at certain angles, such as every 45 degrees.

Inverted – An upside-down airplane.

Knife-edge spin – A series of forward somersaults, similar to a ruade, but in a descending flight path.

Load – Any maneuver that increases the Gs on the aircraft.

Loop – Basic aircraft maneuver that calls for pitching the aircraft up or down and completing a vertical circle in the sky, maintaining a constant radius and returning to the starting point. Partial loops complete only a portion, usually a quarter, or a half, of a circle.

Mulleroid – A climbing maneuver in which the aircraft, starting from a vertical climb, performs a negative snap roll and eventually levels out to horizontal flight. Named for Eric Muller, who invented it in 1985.

Multirole – A type of fighter, like the F-16 Fighting Falcon, that can be used in both air-to-air and air-to-ground missions based on its weapon loadout.

Outside – Aerobatic term for pulling negative Gs.

Pinched – A term for a poorly-completed loop that appears elliptical rather than circular.

Pitch – Measure of location of aircraft’s nose in the vertical relative to level flight. Pitch up means the aircraft’s nose is pointed upward, so an upright aircraft would be climbing.

Pugachev’s Cobra – Maneuver named for Sukhoi test pilot and Hero of the Soviet Union Viktor Pugachev, who first performed it in an Su-27 Flanker on April 28, 1989. The maneuver uses dynamic braking to pitch the Su-27 to a very high angle of attack.

Pull – Term for beginning a positive G maneuver. A pilot pulls back on the stick.

Push – Term for beginning a negative G maneuver. A pilot pushes the control stick forward.

Roll – Measure of the location an aircraft’s wings relative to level flight. A rolling aircraft would become inverted, then upright without changing its direction of flight.

Ruade – Aerobatic maneuver in which the aircraft appears to be doing forward somersaults. First used in 1983.

Tailslide – An aerobatic maneuver in which a plane climbs straight up, then tips 180 degrees, either forward or backward, so it is diving straight down.

Torque – Aircraft movement induced by the engine’s torque, intentional or otherwise.

Unload – Any maneuver that decreases the Gs on the aircraft.

Vertical S – A manuever beginning with an inside half-loop followed by an outside half-loop.

Yaw – Measure of the position of aircraft’s nose in the horizontal relative to straight, level flight. A yawing aircraft is turning.

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