Anne Wright is based atÂ Ann Arbor Municipal Airport (KARB), Michigan.
On Sept. 10, I took an aerobatic flight in a Pitts S2B, with instructor Don Weaver. I was so nervous I almost cancelled, but once I got the parachute on I was ready to go.
My only other experience with aerobatics was in a glider with world champion Lukas von Atzigan last summer at the Women’s Soaring Pilots’ Association (WSPA) annual seminar at Chilhowee Gliderport (owned and operated by LLT member Sarah Kelly Arnold). That flight was so gentle and smooth, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
A Pitts has an engine, though, 265 hp, and I expected a bit more stomach-wrenching in the air. Don kept it to “baby aerobatics” for me, so we did steep turns to get me used to the airplane, then some stalls (of course), barrel rolls, and at my request, the difference between stalling in a slip and stalling in a skid. That last one showed me how pilots get in trouble when they overshoot the runway and try to rudder back while slowing down for approach to landing. Yes, a real eye-opener! Then a spin and recovery, and back home. I recommend that everyone do aerobatics at least once, even if it’s only “baby aerobatics.” Would I do it again? Absolutely!