Pilots at the British National Championships – RAF Barkston Heath

Two metre models built to FAI specification weighing less than 5Kgs powered by Internal combustion engines and electric motors. These models may be flown through 400 or 500 schedules per year to keep in practice.
More information is available at

Some club pilots compete in National and International aerobatic competitions but that needs a lot of practice and dedication, and for the benefit of club pilots who wish to improve their flying, there is always help available.


Below are the details concerning the BMFA ‘Introduction to Aerobatics days’ which take place at BMFA Buckminster on the first Wednesday of each month and run by NASA members.

The BMFA Introduction to Aerobatics is a basic step forward for any club pilot who wishes to get more from their flying. Although the days are run by volunteer precision aerobatic enthusiasts there is no pressure to fly competitions or join any particular group of pilots. Once the basics have been mastered, flying simple aerobatics is a natural progression for any club pilot. This is an opportunity to improve those skills without any pressure.



For Your Diary – the first Wednesday of every month – It’s all about you and your model

Since September 2017 on the first Wednesday of every month at BMFA Buckminster, aerobatic competition pilots volunteer to run ‘Introduction to Aerobatics’ days for the benefit of any BMFA member who wishes to improve their flying and maybe prepare for a higher standing.


What you need to bring

A model that you are happy to fly, that weighs less than 7.5 Kgs that will do a couple of loops and rolls. May be a chair to take to the flight line, a rain cover although we have use of the pilot’s shelter and usually the hanger.  There are an outdoor mains sockets if you need to use your charging equipment. 

We ask that you bring your own food so the cost to you will only be the daily flying rate for Buckminster. (2023 this is £10). Hot drinks can be made and there is a microwave available. (Please don’t forget to make a contribution in the honesty collection box).   


Our Aim

These days are not about competition flying or becoming a member of the GBRCAA, although we will base our references on the GBRCAA and FAI international rules for F3A aerobatics and particularly the Introduction to Aerobatics ‘Have a Go’ schedule and the GBRCAA Clubman Schedule.  However, you can fly whatever manoeuvres you chose on the day. Flying in a straight line from right to left and left to right, upright and then inverted is a good start, but it is up to you and you can make your flying as complicated as you wish.

We feel this is an opportunity for us to pass on the huge amount of knowledge gained over the years and give something back to our sport to encourage every pilot to have more control over their model from take-off to landing.


If the weather is unsuitable for flying or you prefer not to fly

We will still be here at Buckminster.  You may wish to talk about your model set up or discuss any other aspect with other pilots.  Just bring your model, transmitter and transmitter instruction book and we will help all we can.


On the Day – first time attendees

Starting at 10am in the Goldsmith Hanger first time pilots will be invited to a presentation covering: where we fit into our sport, our organisation, the basics of flying aerobatics, trimming your model and anything else you wish to discuss. This lasts up to 90 minutes and will give you the time to ask questions and think about what you would like to achieve from the day.

The rest of the day is spent taking turns to fly.  We only have one model in the air at a time and this is why we limit pilots attending to 10.  This should give everyone enough time to fly several meaningful flights with a highly experienced mentor at your side.

If you want to attend as a ‘none flyer’ you can without charge, (small contributions to the centre are always welcome). Join the introduction presentation, bring a model if you need help with the setup, and be part of the discussions on the flight line. 

There will be demonstration flights by the mentors covering the current aerobatic schedules.  See the GBRCAA Schedules menu linked from our home page:

If you wish to arrive early and fly electric powered aircraft you can fly from around 08:30, our mentors will be available from 10am to give advice.


On Subsequent Days

You may attend as many times as you wish and bypass our introduction session which gives you the maximum opportunity to fly and track your flying progress and ask further questions which may become relevant after practicing back at your club.


If You Wish To Join Us.

Please email John Morton ( or Ashley Hoyland ( for more information or to add your name to our mailing list and receive notifications of the next session. On the Monday evening two days before the event the first ten applicants will receive a final confirmation email. (If you ever wish to be taken off our mailing list, just email one of the addresses given).

Once registered if there are any unforeseen circumstances which stops the event going ahead, we would let you know by email on the previous Monday evening so you don’t travel unnecessarily.



We thank our mentors: John Morton who also looks after the administration, Alan Williams, Barry Buxton, Vince Beesley and of course Manny Williamson, Andy Symons and the team at Buckminster who make all this possible.


Want to start to fly more precisely?

There is a lot of advice available in the club but if you want something to read there is a book on the subject where you will pick up lots of tips. This is written by an aerobatic competition pilot for the beginner, but there are is lots of information for everyone. MAPA Edition 2


Indoor Aerobatics

In 2009 three members started flying indoor models which inevitably developed into the flying the FAI F3P class of model. Early models were made of depron and national competitions were arranged by Matt Hoyland at South Elmsall and the GBRCAA F3P leagues and competitions ran from October to March each year. Matt was also the Contest Director for the BMFA Indoor Electric Masters held at Bradford and later at Barnsley with myself and Steve Hunt helping. Venues became expensive and models were developing to such an extent that the top models were around 27″ wing span, carbon and mylar covered construction with 16″ contra rotating propellers and weighing in at about 32 grams ready to fly on a single cell Li Po battery. The cost rose as well to around £1500 each (2017).

FAI F3P ‘A’ Schedule podium at one of our competitions
In a prop hang – search for F3P indoor flying on the internet