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Old 10-20-2010, 07:56 PM   #11
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Re: Unknowns

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Originally Posted by Mike Sebastien View Post
I really don't think it improves your flying skills and if does can someone tell me how.
OK you made me think about that. Flying unknowns at contests does not improve my skills or make me a better pilot. But now that I have gotten into the habit of taking the unknowns home from every contest and then put them in a binder and use them for focused practice between contests does, in my mind, improve my flying skills. It forces me to fly a different set of maneuvers other than the known sequence and I have learned to fly maneuvers I have never routinely ever flown before. As long as I am learning I think I am improving.
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Old 10-20-2010, 08:17 PM   #12
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Re: Unknowns

I like the unknowns. I don't put any pressure on myself to do them particularly well, as I've just started flying sportsman this season and there are a good number of maneuvers that I haven't even tried before.

The unknowns are there because they're there in the full scale aerobatic contests. I think it would be silly to have scale aerobatics contests that don't represent at least the basics of how the real thing is done.

Like Scot said, I probably only spent half an hour total on my first unknown and I actually didn't fly it that badly except for one maneuver that I just couldn't seem to let of the rudder, lol!

I also enjoy the freestyle portion. That's when you get to let loose a little and have some fun! Again, no pressure at all, just go out and throw down some of your best flashy maneuvers to music! I love flying it and watching Scot fly it. He lied, he's good at it!
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Old 10-20-2010, 08:47 PM   #13
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Re: Unknowns

I really like the unknowns because of the fact that it teaches me to approach the similar maneuvers differently. I enjoy mixing it up a bit and this has led me to learn the skills to work out a free-style program.
Plus the Unknowns is usually best flight of the weekend for me.
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Old 10-20-2010, 10:14 PM   #14
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Re: Unknowns

The problem with never flying unknowns is boredom! if you fly the same routine all summer, sure you'll get good at it but what about learning other skills? Flying unknowns does just that, it makes you try things you never practiced before and it does make you a better pilot because you learn to fly under pressure. We have had a blast this past month just flying unknowns from a catalogue of them I have collected over the years. No practice, no looking, just the caller telling you what to do and if you screw up..just turn around and do it again till you get it right. Believe me you improve in a hurry
My caller (Brendan) is a basic pilot (well Sportsman next year) and he has been calling all the way to Unlimited for me and his own ability to read aresti has grown immensily and I also think has contributed to his own rapid growth in piloting skills.
I hear you Mike about a lack of callers but if you can convince even one of your club members to learn how to call and get them flying IMAC, I can alomost guarrantee they'll be hooked just like Brendan
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Old 10-21-2010, 09:15 AM   #15
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Re: Unknowns

I've shown non IMAC pilots how to call for me during practice - it's amazing how well the offer of a couple of beers works (and there are always those who'd like to see what IMAC is all about). Last year I flew sportsman; I called for Unlimited several times. I don't recall seeing anyone having a hard time finding a caller.
...it's to counteract the torque...
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Old 10-21-2010, 10:08 AM   #16
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Re: Unknowns

Originally Posted by scot View Post
I've shown non IMAC pilots how to call for me during practice - it's amazing how well the offer of a couple of beers works (and there are always those who'd like to see what IMAC is all about). Last year I flew sportsman; I called for Unlimited several times. I don't recall seeing anyone having a hard time finding a caller.
huh?? what was that? I'm not sure if I actually heard something from you, you NON IMAC, potentially NON flying dude. Not sure if we should consider your NON IMAC, Non flying opinion valid.

Just in case someone doesn't realize....... that was sarcasm.
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Old 10-22-2010, 11:15 AM   #17
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Re: Unknowns

When I first started flying imac, it was not something I was looking forward doing it. Since Sportsman & up, most contests I entered you had to fly the darn thing. So you do what you can. The more I did easier it got.
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Old 10-29-2010, 07:33 PM   #18
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Re: Unknowns

Originally Posted by Mike Sebastien View Post
I try to fly Advanced.

But what is the Value in flying Unknowns for the pilots? Does it improve his flying skill?
Hi Mike,

My point of view is: to be able to fly the known well, you just have to master a sequence. To be able to fly the unknowns well, you have to master a whole level of flying. Preparing adequately for the unknowns brings a lot of richness to the practicing and preparation.

Also from the contest point of view, they are a great test of skill because of the above reason, and also they keep the suspense until the end - anything can happen until the unknowns are flown! But these are minor points compared to the first.

For me the unknowns are definitely the best part of the whole thing. They are challenging. After a lot of practice, the known sequence can become almost automatic - muscle memory like driving a car. Sometimes by the end of the summer it is almost boring - your mind can be wandering while you are flying. However this would never happen during the unknowns... the unknowns continue to test to the limit your mental game, concentration, intuition, control and coordination. So many aspects of the unknowns are more mental than physical (visualisation, memorization, spatial planning), I find it really fascinating to think about and try out new ways of preparing for them.

Originally Posted by Mike Sebastien View Post
I try to fly Advanced.
The only value I see in flying Unknowns is being able to listen to your Caller and read Aresti.
As for the caller issue; try to challenge yourself to fly the unknowns without a caller. I would say that in the whole summer maybe I actually listened to the caller only for one or two maneuvers when I had a hesitation, out of ~10 contests. Eventually you should really be able to fly the unknown without your caller. But don't worry if you cannot do it right away, it's really something you can practice. I had no idea what my mind was capable of but it came gradually, with practice (I have to say this is probably a lot easier to do when you start unknowns at the Sportsman level and work yourself up... it would be a big step to try doing this straight into the Advanced level). A few times it has happened to me that I was able to concentrate enough during my preparation that when I flew the unknown, it really felt like I had flown it before many times, but unfortunately I found this difficult to replicate. Steve Dionne did an excellent workshop session about unknown preparation and it really opened my eyes in that respect.

I want to add, too, that I found a lot of parallels between unknowns and other aspects of life, like studying for exams, or preparing for a potentially stressful situation, or anything that benefits visualization, memorization, confidence. I think my previous exam-preparation skills (memorization, discipline, concentration) helped me initially to prepare unknowns, and now in return the brain areas I have used to prepare for unknowns are transferable skills (visualization, pattern finding, and memorization especially).

Anyways some people will say that this is taking things too seriously but for me it has been a lot of fun

Regarding the "taking away the fun" part. In Quebec for many years it was the same thing as what you say, we did not fly unknowns. One reason was that on Saturday nights many of us like to have a nice social dinner, nice wine and nice campfire and the unknowns were seen as a treat to this relaxing thing. So, the compromise solution was to distribute the unknowns on Sunday morning and give about 1/2 hour - 1 hour before the start of the contest to memorize and write them down for a caller. So Saturday night was only social. This cuts down a lot on the depth of preparation, though with practice you will be able to memorize a new unknown in a short amount of time (10 minutes?). But it's an alternative to consider if you want to introduce unknowns gradually into the system.

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Old 10-29-2010, 10:32 PM   #19
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Re: Unknowns

Isabel is writing her Master's Thesis on preparation for Scale Aerobatics competition
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Old 10-30-2010, 02:03 AM   #20
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Re: Unknowns

Originally Posted by craigk View Post
Isabel is writing her Master's Thesis on preparation for Scale Aerobatics competition
And what's wrong with daT?
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