Love aerobatics? 8 steps to become an aerobatic pilot.

by | Choosing a School, Using Your Pilot's License

You can learn to fly aerobatics as a private pilot. All it takes is time and training!Do you want to become an aerobatic pilot? If the answer is yes you will need to follow these 8 steps to ensure you have the necessary skills, training, and certifications.

Here’s what you need to do to become an aerobatic pilot:

  1. Obtain a Private Pilot Certificate: Before pursuing aerobatic training, you typically need to hold a private pilot certificate. This involves completing the necessary flight training and passing the FAA Private Pilot Knowledge Test and Practical Test (checkride). The private pilot certificate provides a solid foundation of flying skills and knowledge that you will build on when you become an aerobatic pilot.
  2. Find an Aerobatic Flight School or Instructor: Look for a flight school or a certified aerobatic flight instructor with experience in teaching aerobatics. It’s important to work with an instructor who has expertise in aerobatic maneuvers and can provide proper guidance and safety measures during your training. You might also want to join the International Aerobatic Club to find mentors and instructors.
  3. Complete an Aerobatic Ground School: Aerobatic training often includes a ground school component to teach you the theory, principles, and safety considerations of aerobatics. The ground school covers topics such as aerobatic maneuvers, aircraft limitations, recovery techniques, and emergency procedures.
  4. Choose an Aerobatic Aircraft: Select an aircraft suitable for aerobatic training. Common choices include aerobatic-specific aircraft such as the Extra 300, Pitts Special, or Citabria, which are designed to withstand the stresses of aerobatic maneuvers. Your flight school or instructor can advise you on the best aircraft options available for training.
  5. Learn Basic Aerobatic Maneuvers: Your instructor will teach you a series of basic aerobatic maneuvers step by step. These maneuvers may include loops, rolls, spins, stalls, hammerheads, and more. You’ll start with simpler maneuvers and gradually progress to more complex ones as you gain proficiency and confidence on your journey to become an aerobatic pilot.
  6. Focus on Safety and Emergency Procedures: Aerobatics involve inherent risks, so it’s crucial to prioritize safety. Your training will include thorough instruction on emergency procedures, recovery techniques, and how to handle unusual attitudes or situations during aerobatic flight.
  7. Log Aerobatic Flight Time: Keep track of your aerobatic flight time in your logbook. Accumulating a sufficient number of aerobatic flight hours will help you develop proficiency, refine your skills, and enhance your overall understanding of aerobatics.
  8. Consider Advanced Aerobatic Training: Once you have a solid foundation in aerobatics, you may choose to pursue advanced aerobatic training to further expand your skill set. This training can include more complex maneuvers, competition preparation, or specialized aerobatic endorsements.

Remember that safety should always be a priority when engaging in aerobatic flying. As you train to become an aerobatic pilot it is essential to follow the guidance of your instructor, adhere to proper aircraft limitations, and maintain situational awareness during all aerobatic maneuvers. Always consult and comply with local aviation regulations and obtain any necessary endorsements or certifications required for aerobatic flight in your jurisdiction.


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