Intermediate World Aerobatic Championships (IWAC 2014)

The South Africans hosted the first Advanced World Aerobatic Championships in 1995 – AWAC.

AWAC 1995this contest has become a very popular and well supported event ever since with upwards of 70 competitors on occasions. I took part in this contest along with Dieter Ebeling flying his Laser 200, shortly afterwards Dieter sold the Laser and took a rest from aerobatic flying to concentrate on building his business Awesome Aviation.  A meeting in London during 2011 resulted in me selling Dieter an Extra 330LX.

Today Dieter Ebeling from Perth Western Australia is very succesfully flying the Extra 330LX at contests throughout Australia. Representing Australia at the first Intermediate World Aerobatic Championships is very much a privledge. The contest is being hosted by the South African Aerobatic Club. I join my long term friend Dieter as his personal aerobatic trainer at Rand airport for the 650nm flight down to Mossel Bay.

The below is our blog of the contest.

IWAC results 20142nd December.

We have reached the end of the Intermediate World Aerobatic Championship.

The final results are:

1. Michel Leusch 78.997%
2. Dieter Ebeling 77.839%
3. Neville Ferreira 77.395%

The 3rd programme was hampered by bad weather and it did not complete. The organisers pushed through as many flights as they could on the 1st of December, flying up to 19h20 in the evening. Unfortunately we awoke to clouds and rain on the 2nd and it remained that way the entire day. I was really looking forward to flying the Unknown 3rd Programme, however it was not meant to be.

I was awarded an FAI Gold Medal for 1st place in the Free Programme (80.686%) and an FAI Silver Medal for 2nd place overall in the IWAC.

Detailed results can be found at

I would like to thank all of you for your wonderful support throughout the championship. Special thanks to my good friend Mark Jefferies and my son Kade Ebeling for the tireless training and support, to my family, Bridget, Savanah and Keaton, to the wonderful team at Awesome Aviation, Russell, Sam, Joey and Andy for making magic happen, Jason Beamish, Jurgis Kairys, and my training partner, David Clemence. Thanks also to the Sport Aerobatic Club of South Africa, the Aero Club of South Africa, and the Australian Aerobatic Club.

IWAC UNK-3IWAC team results IWAC South Africa team





IWAC Dieter and Kade Ebeling IWAC John Gaillard contest CD IWAC Trainer Mark Jefferies

1st December.

Again at the airfield for briefing at 7:30AM to hear assemble for rebriefing in an hour. This continued till approx 11AM when the low cloud was starting to break. Flying commenced. 11:40, the day went quite well till teh wind blew above limits. Team managers were assembled and agreed to lift the limits to 14m/s. All teams agreed except the Russian as they were leading in the previous 2 flights.  Flying recommenced and flew till 19:20 leaving 16 pilots to fly.

IWAC 2014 free program resultsIWAC 2014 30th November Update

Hello from IWAC!

The day started off with low cloud and it delayed things a bit, however blue skies opened up mid-morning and we got a full day of flying in, completing the Free Programme and getting through some of Programme 3. The temp was up when I flew at around 14:30 and I had to make some allowances in my Free for the higher density altitude.

I was was happy with my Free Programme flight and the judges liked it too, awarding me 1st place with 80.686%. This has moved me up in the rankings to 2nd place overall in the championship with 77.839%. I am due to fly the Free Unknown on Monday and am looking forward to it.

Thanks to everyone for your wonderful support and for your kind words of encouragement, they are very much appreciated.

Regards Dee

image SZ-EXE image


IWAC Dieter after UNK-3 IWAC HQ at Mossel BayIWAC Giles 202


image28th November.

Wind in limits, cloud below limits….however by 10:35 the first contest flight started. Steve Geard from New Zealand made history by being the first pilot at an Intermediate World Aerobatic Contest.  At 5pm we were up to flight No. 29, however a few puffy clouds had decided to participate in the comp and this halted flying again temporarily. A weather flight was undertaken and flying resumed a while thereafter. I got my first flight done just before 6pm and I was happy with my flight. The results can be seen as they are posted on here.

imageOne of the Brits had a rudder pedal failure on their Slick 360 and this is hopefully going to be repaired overnight. A Yak 52 had an undercarriage problem and this created some consternation, however the aircraft landed safely and that concluded the flying for the day. We are now up to flight No. 35 In the Q programme. I am writing this as we are sitting at dinner in a marquee on the airfield, where they have prepared Lamb on the Spit for us. Yum! We have also just drawn lots for the Free Programme (2nd Flight) and I have drawn beer can No. 38.

Regards Dee

image IMG_4755 IWAC Mark Jefferies

27th November.Windy IWAC

Briefing at 7AM to be told the wind at 500 meters is 12.3 m/s so out of limits….. not fair when its wall to wall blue with temps expected to be 24’c by lunch time…by mid morning trhe winds were reported as 26mps at 500meters Alt with no forcast of abatment. So, tha day 1 of the contest wiped out.

IWAC briefing26th November

Greetings from IWAC 2014!

16 Nations, 17 pilots in YAKWAC (Yak 52 contest) and 31 Intermediate pilots.

Practice is now over and the championship has officially begun. This evening we had the first official briefing followed by the opening ceremony.

I drew beer can No. 33, which puts me midfield in the flight order for tomorrow’s Q (1st flight) program.

It has been so wonderful meeting new people and reuniting with old friends. The atmosphere is great and I cannot wait to get into the aerobatic box to fly!

25th November, no training due to low clouds so we took a trip to George, just along the coast and went to the cinema to watch Interstellar.

IWAC SA Protea flower IMG_1452 IMG_1456

image24th November

Hello all.

Well, after our day off due to the inclement weather on the 23rd, I managed to get 4 training flights in on the 24th. The early morning flight around at 7am had some low cloud, however the weather improved dramatically as the day progressed, with the last flight at 7pm again being picture perfect.image

The national teams are now arriving in force and there is an international atmosphere in the dining room, in and around the hotel and at the airfield. It is wonderful to hear different languages being spoken at each table. imageThe weather today has again presented some challenges, however I did manage to get a flight in this morning, and am hoping for some more later in the day. The championship starts tomorrow on the 26th and we will all be afforded an official practice in the aerobatic box. The “box” is the 1 km cube in the sky with its base at 200 meters.

Take care,


IWAC Kade Ebeling 19th birthday IWAC Dieter after UNK-3 IWAC HQ at Mossel Bay

image22nd November

Greetings from IWAC 2014!

I managed to get 4 solid practice flights in on Sa turday, which was good as we knew the weather was going to deteriorate on Sunday and we wanted to make the most of the good conditions that we had. My first flight was at 7am and the last at 7pm. We had debated scooting off into the Karoo to continue practicing, however we were concerned that we may not be able to make it back for official registration on Wednesday. The satellite picture shows that the current system is widespread.SZ-EXE

This morning we were greeted by a 300’ cloudbase, so it was off to the Wimpy for breakfast and to the Laundromat underneath to catch up some washing! We are hoping the base will lift a little this afternoon so we can at least keep working on rollers, snaps and rolls.

The Russian team arrived on Saturday and it was good to catch up with Victor Smolin. Victor is the Russian Team Manager and a past Unlimited World Champion. He stayed with me and trained me in 1994 and he was one of the few people I let fly my Laser 230 at the time.

IMG_4905My training here with Mark and Kade assisting, is going very well and we are making good progress. We will probably have to catch a movie or something though later to avoid Cabin Fever, if the inclement weather persists.

Take care

Warm regards


IWAC Q program 2014 IWAC Free Dieter Ebeling IWAC flight preparation

IMG_477021st November

We got up for an early morning training flight at Karoo Gateway, had breakfast and got another flight in before heading off to Mossel Bay today. The weather was cavok all the way and it was a beautiful flight crossing over the Swartberg and Outeniqua ranges.

We arrived at Mossel Bay Airport and caught up with some of the other international teams training there. I got two solid practice flights in, in the aerobatic box, with the second being the last flight of the day, at last light. What a treat that was having the sun glint off the Extra every time I pulled up above 1500′.

My son Kade arrived today and he jumped straight in, assisting on the ground, prepping, fueling and cleaning the plane, and helping Mark with coaching support. We got to share hangar space with two Yak 52’s and after flying, we headed off to the local Spur for dinner.IMG_4773

We have 4 flights planned for tomorrow, with the first one at 7am. The weather forecast is not looking great from Sunday onwards for the week. Mmmm, we might need to make an alternative plan.



IWAC Kade Ebeling 19th birthday image image

Mark & Dieter IWAC20th November

This morning Mark and I arrived at Rand Airport to be met by Jason and Kyle who were eagerly awaiting us. They had kindly taken the 330LX out of the hangar and had it ready for us. I think they have both become quite attached to their “new baby”, having assembled the aircraft and having test flown it, and then taking it through its C of A. I am also excited to learn that Jason will be joining us at the Avalon Airshow next year, flying in an S’Bach formation team with some good friends of ours. Jason is one of the coolest and kindest people you will ever meet.Dieter Ebeling in the Extra330LX

We took off as planned and headed for Gariep Dam, knowing that the weather forecast for Mossel Bay was not good. The weather enroute to Gariep was however great. We made a good long range cruise TAS of 165 Knots and we had very little headwind. We landed at Gariep and met up with a contingent of international glider pilots who had their gliders lined up at the ends of both runways, waiting for the first sign of cumulus build so they could launch. It was great to meet such a wonderful group of people out in the middle of the Free State, all just doing what they really love!

Mark JEFFERIES refuelling ZS-EXEMark kindly refuelled us while I spoke to the George Met office, looked at satellite images, and also got actuals from Mossel Bay. The airports were both IMC and it was not possible to get in VFR. We decided though that we would head closer towards Mossel Bay and, after a few phone calls to airfields around the region, Karoo Gateway Airport at Beaufort West was the best option. The weather was good there and it is only 115nm from there to Mossel Bay. It took us an 1:10 to get there and we were welcomed by airport and B&B manager Johan, after we had landed. This place is awesome! The B&B accommodation is 50m from where your aircraft parks, the service is outstanding and the Karoo Lamb dinner was super. In comparison, the Karoo Gateway airport is situated in a region not dissimilar to Forrest in Western Australia.Karoo Gateway

I managed to get two training flights in this afternoon at Karoo Gateway, and the Extra is performing beautifully. We have planned to get another two training flights in early in the morning, and thereafter head for Mossel Bay. Thankfully the wx forecast is looking favourable there for the next two days.

All the best, and thanks to all of you who have sent me wonderful emails of support and encouragement.

Warm regards


IMG_4760 image IMG_4767

19th November

Mark Jefferies arrived from the UK yesterday and we spent the day prepping the Extra 330LX at Rand Airport near Johannesburg. Her new rego is ZS-EXE and she is living up to her sexy name. It was a great reunification after we had packed her up in Sydney a few months ago. The import C of A was issued in the nick of time and we fortunately received it yesterday! The aircraft is ready and Jason Beamish has done a fantastic job setting it up. Mark did some tweaks, note the red blanked out on the tail (competition strategy!) and I cannot wait to get going. We are departing this morning and will be heading to Gariep Dam, 300nm from Rand Airport for a tech stop and then another 300nm on to Mossel Bay where the Intermediate World Aerobatic Championships are being held. We will use Oudtshoorn as an alternate in case the weather plays up on the coastline.



IMG_4748 IMG_4749 IMG_4755

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