AOPA Basic Aerobatic Certificate

Satisfactory completion of this course will enable the applicant to obtain the AOPA Basic Aerobatic Certificate.  This course is recommended for students who do not hold an EASA Licence but who wish to get a recognised certificate showing a basic level of Aerobatic competency.  

Overseas students are welcome - we have no additional requirements for overseas students from non-EASA regulated countries.  If unsure, you should contact your country's general aviation services directly to check if the AOPA Basic Aerobatics Course is recognised in your country.

The course is very similar (but not identical) to the EASA Aerobatic Rating Course. It was designed many years ago by AOPA and the British Aerobatic Association in order to encourage those pilots who wished to become proficient in the basic aerobatic manoeuvres to undertake training through a properly structured formal course. 

This Certificate indicates that the holder is competent to safely fly aerobatic manoeuvres for which they have been cleared.  The manoeuvres learnt will also enable the student to take part in the Beginners' events organised by the British Aerobatic Association.  Ultimate High students who have passed the course will be able to fly those manoeuvres as aircraft captain, subject to normal currency/ aircraft conversion requirements.

Students may commence the course at any time after qualifying for a PPL or NPPL although we recommend that pilots have a minimum of 50 hours P1.

What does the course cover?

The course consists of a minimum of 8 hours' dual flying with a qualified instructor. Pilots with some aerobatic experience may qualify for a reduction in the flying hour requirement.  The theoretical knowledge section of the course (see below) consists of a minimum of 8 hours.

At the end of the course, students are required to have their competence assessed in the air by one of our AOPA registered instructors;  it should be noted that this test flight is additional to the 8 hours required for the course.  When the test has satisfactorily been completed, it should be sent off to AOPA accompanied by a small fee, who will then issue a certificate.

Flight Training - Basic Manoeuvres assessed at the end of the course

  • Loop
  • Aileron (Ballistic) Roll
  • Barrel Roll
  • Slow (level) Roll
  • Stall Turn
  • Half roll of the top of a Loop
  • Half Cuban Eight (rolling on down line) or Half Loop up, half Barrel Roll down (Quarter Clover rolling downwards)

Theoretical Knowledge

1. Technical Subjects
     -   Legislation affecting aerobatic flying
     -   Airframe and engine limitations - revision
     -   Stalling & spinning - principles of flight

2. Physical Limitations
     -   Body stresses - 'g' forces  
     -   Disorientation
     -   Airsickness

3. Limitations Applicable to the Specific Aeroplane Type
     -  Load factors
     -  Airspeeds
     -  Engine (including inverted flight limitations)

4. Emergency Drills
     -  Use of parachutes
     -  Aircraft abandonment

5. Aresti System
     -   Notation for basic aerobatic manoeuvres - www.arestisystem.com

Aircraft:

The AOPA Basic Aerobatic Certificate is conducted in the T67 Firefly.  We do not offer this course in the Extra300 as it is not a good basic aerobatics teaching aeroplane;  it does not teach you about energy management and therefore potentially develops bad habits for aerobatics in standard aerobatic aircraft. 

It is always possible to do a couple of trips in the Extra300 at the END of any of our courses if you would like.  You will then appreciate more fully this amazing aircraft!  Flights in the Extra300 can usually be decided upon once you have started your course.

More info:

  • Courses normally start on a Monday and continue through to Friday.  Due to busy schedules and the considerable amount of ground briefing, we are unable to offer weekend aerobatic training.
  • Upon completion of the course, students are required to have their competence assessed in the air by one of our AOPA registered instructors;  it should be noted that this test flight is additional to the time required for the course.  When the test has satisfactorily been completed, it may be sent off to AOPA accompanied by a small fee, who will then issue a certificate.
  • Students may commence the course at any time after qualifying for a PPL or NPPL; we recommend that pilots normally have a minimum of 50 hours P1.
  • Click here for latest prices and FAQ

What next?

Yes, you can combine the AOPA Basic Aerobatic course in the T67 Firefly with our Advanced PPL course.  This combined course is 15 hours of flying (normally 18 hours if done separately).

Progress beyond the AOPA Basic Aerobatic Certificate depends upon students' objectives.  Ultimate High can further develop students' aerobatics through Standard, Intermediate and Advanced aerobatic manoeuvres, which can include sequences, Competition aerobatics and even display flying.