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Hammerhead Round Up Preview

April 21 – April 23 at the Borrego Valley Airport


Last updated 4/19/2022 at 11:30am

They are back to grace the skies of our beautiful Borrego Valley – soaring with excitement, expertise and distinct precision.

The International Aerobatic Club (IAC) Chapter 36 San Diego Hammerheads are back for the Spring Roundup competition from April 21 – April 23 at the Borrego Valley Airport. And unlike most air shows, these Akrofest pilots, flying in multiple categories, follow precise routes with specific-point ranked figures, while making insane climbs, twisting, stalling and diving.

Chapter 36 is one of the strongest chapters in the IAC and in the Southwest region. It draws members primarily from the greater Los Angeles and San Diego areas. It hosts two contests per year, judge certification programs, critique sessions and special programs. It formerly held contests in Ramona, California, and now has an excellent aerobatic practice and contest box in Borrego Springs.

Each pilot will perform three-minute flight programs in five categories – Primary, Sportsman, Intermediate, Advanced and Unlimited. At the end of the contest, smoke trails and amazing maneuvers fill the skies above in a Freestyle (finale) contest.

The four-minute free has no limit to the number or style of figures and can be flown with smoke and music in order to add points for presentation. The competition is composed of flying for four minutes. Any long or shorter could be subject to penalties that can drop a pilot from first to last. However, chaotic it may look to the spectator, it is judged to standards like the rest of the competition.

Akrofest is held in April and October every year in Borrego Springs.

All are encouraged to head down to the Airport on Thursday April 21 to meet the pilots and see their planes. Then come on back on Friday April 22 for the first day of the competition. An air display by the top three pilots will take place later in the day at around 4 p.m., don’t miss it.

The final day of the competition will be Saturday April 23 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Some notable names like Howard Kirker, Jim Bourke, Susan Bell Magne “Max” Nerheim, AJ Wilder, and Hiroyasu Endo will possibly be back to compete, setting high standards.

So remember to bring your chair, binoculars, refreshment of choice and enjoy the Hammerhead Round Up 2022 at the Borrego Valley Airport.

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