Aerobatics Down Under


This book provides a comprehensive guide to the underpinning knowledge required for safe and enjoyable aerobatics flying, covering topics that many other books don’t. It’s intended for aerobatic pilots and new instructors, including tips for low-level aerobatic training and knowledge required for instructor training endorsements. The book also includes tailwheel endorsement training notes, technical information on flight performance, and a new chapter on operating the Super Decathlon. The author recommends two other books as follow-ups. The book addresses the Australian regulatory environment for tailwheel, spin, and aerobatic training. Lastly, the book emphasizes the importance of remembering “PARE” for safe flying.

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There are many excellent books on aerobatics, especially on how to fly aerobatics and the physics of aerobatics flight however few of them cover the complete scope of underpinning knowledge requirements to safely fly aerobatics and have fun as this book does.The purpose of this book is to provide reference material for aerobatic pilots and to assist new aerobatic instructors in preparation of training material and knowledge enhancement. It includes tips on training for low level aerobatic endorsements. It also includes the knowledge required for flight instructor training endorsements in spin and aerobatics. We’ll go further than the minimum requirements as the author’s view is that an instructor must have a deeper knowledge than the minimum required by the trainee. The book is based on the classic aerobatic trainer, the Super Decathlon, commonly used in flying schools and so tailwheel endorsement training notes are included.This revised and updated edition includes some more technical information on flight performance, pilot stick forces and spinning. There is a new chapter on operating the Super Decathlon. As a follow up to this book the author recommends these two most authoritative books – Better Aerobatics by Alan Cassidy – and Stall/Spin Awareness by Rich Stowell.The book addresses the Australian regulatory environment for tailwheel, spin and aerobatic training.Before we go too far – remember “PARE”. If you remember nothing else but that I have succeeded in something.

David Pilkington

David Pilkington started learning to fly in 1966 and commenced flying aerobatics a few years later in an Airtourer 100. He moved on to the Pitts and the Laser (which he built in partnership with two others). David was twice Australian Advanced Aerobatic Champion and competed in Unlimited Category for a number of years. He was leader of the Aerobatic Club’s formation aerobatic team for a few years.

From January, 2000 until 2003, he was Chairman of the Technical Safety Committee for the International Aerobatic Club. From April 2005 until September 2008, he was President of the Australian Aerobatic Club, Victorian Chapter.

David is an independent flight instructor based in Melbourne, Australia. He specialises in tailwheel, spinning and aerobatics including low level aerobatic training.

David has a Bachelor of Aeronautical Engineering from RMIT and a Master of Science Degree from Cranfield University in the UK. His early career was in aircraft aerodynamic design, flight & wind tunnel testing, flight performance, handling qualities and flight loads including work with the NASA Spin Research Center.

He was Vice President, Engineering and Test Pilot at Aviat Aircraft, Inc (USA) in the mid-nineties. David returned to Australia as Chief Engineer-Air Vehicles at ASTA Components (Boeing Australia) then Engineering Manager/Chief Engineer at BAE Systems in Melbourne before joining GKN Aerospace Engineering Services in 2001. He retired from full-time engineering at the end of 2008 but continues consulting in aeronautical engineering.

David held a company and private CASA design authority and was USA FAA Designated Engineering Representative for FAR 23 structures.

Additional information

Weight 0.45 kg
Dimensions 23 × 16 × 2 cm