Aerobatics: Principles and Practise by David Robson
By Mark Attwood | Flying
I knew I was on to a winner with this book as soon as I read the first line in the introduction:
“The practise of aerobatics develops sensitivity, feel, judgement and anticipation – (as the actress said to the bishop)”
Being someone who does actress/bishop gags to multiple sighs on a daily basis, I felt immediately at home with this book by veteran aviator, David Robson, a former member of the RAAF Deltas 7-aircraft aerobatic team (which flew his favourite aircraft, the Mirage).
I found this video of a 1970s documentary about the Deltas which is v. cool:
I’m not sure if he’s in this video or not, but David’s resume is staggering and makes him the boss when it comes to discussing aerobatics.
He plainly points out that he wrote this book as a result of two emotions: enthusiasm for flying and a concern for incomplete pilot training.
Since I have rejoined the flying fold I must admit that I have been quite surprised to see spinning taken out of the PPL syllabus. (Adopts Yorkshire accent): “When I were a lad, spinning were t’manadatory”
I seriously find it hard to understand how a licence can be issued to anyone that does not know how to recover from a spin. Spinning was the lesson I enjoyed most when doing basic training on the Bulldog back in the 1980s.
David talks about learning to fly on the Chipmunk “…when the flying training syllabus produced a complete, three dimensional pilot”, and I have to agree with his point.
Moving on to the book itself, it is packed with well written prose that is logically laid out, well illustrated and easy to understand.
He starts with some aerobatic wisdom, then moves into explaining aerobatic terminology then onto the physics and physiology of manoeuvring flight before giving full explanations of aerobatic manoeuvres in step-by-step detail. I also enjoyed the last section on designing an aerobatic sequence, and look forward to putting my new found knowledge into practise as soon as possible!
An excellent read that should be on the shelf of any pilot, regardless of whether or not you like throwing aircraft around in the sky or not because this book simply expands your understanding.