The Freestyle should highlight what you and your airplane do best. The Free should be viewed as a perpetual "work in progress" - there is always room for improvement or optimization.
We also think all Sportsman pilots should do a Free. It's different from most everyone else (currently), and it makes the jump to Intermediate easier because you only have one new thing to worry about - the Unknown, and that's enough!
Here are a couple of cardinal rules to follow when designing a Freestyle, starting with Sportsman level rules and progressing through Unlimited:
If you don't, you're giving away points! Use the Floating Point rule if you have to.
Until the CIVA bonus program is adopted for IAC. This reduces risk of point loss by spreading out the max points such that a single zero won't have as large of an impact. The exception to this rule is pilots trying for the U.S. Unlimited Team are required to fly a 10 figure Free, to align with CIVA.
WAKE UP those judges! Make your first figure exciting, and let them know that you are here to fly.
If you have a blindingly fast roll rate, put in lots of rolls. If you have tons of power, put in lots of vertical stuff. If you have everything, well, you're lucky!
You're almost guaranteed an out, especially if there is a wind.
You will probably be struggling for altitude at the end of the sequence - get the spin over with.
More turns = more altitude loss, but not more energy - once you give that altitude away, it's gone.
Spin recoveries are ugly, and there's almost always a wing low. While technically this is OK as long as you fix it, don't show the judges that.
While it's tempting to try and get away with something using the "if they don't see anything wrong it's a 10" philosophy, if the judges can't judge your figure (i.e. determine if a 45 is steep or shallow), they can't do their jobs, and probably won't give you a 10. Let them do their jobs - judge you.
In fact, if at all possible, avoid vanilla loops altogether - they are very hard to score 10s on.
The wind will blow you into the box, whereas if you are on the downwind end, it will blow you out!
Works whether there is a wind or not - if there is a strong wind, you'll be glad you did.
Hard to keep in the box.
You're almost guaranteed an out.
Very hard to stop accurately & on heading.
Remember you have to practice this Free all the time - give yourself a break.
Rollers are very difficult to score well on, so try to pick the minimum required - give the judges fewer reasons to downgrade.
Slides are risky and very easy to zero. Use the minimum K possible.
It's much easier to get away with cheat if the judges are looking at the top of the airplane.
A popular style that is emerging has been dubbed the "California Freestyle" - placing most or all the figures at the ends of the box - no center box figures. While this works well for fast airplanes that accelerate on horizontal lines, it must be flown properly so as not to be boring for the judges to watch. Even for fast airplanes, the ends must be centered in the middle 2/3s of the box.
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Last updated: Tue 10/21/2003 08:30 PDTCopyright © 1999-2003 Cris Flint