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The Basic Aerobatic Book - Second Edition

The Basic Aerobatic Manual

The The Basic Aerobatic Manual is a complete reference for the beginning aerobatic student, with invaluable unusual attitude and spin recovery information for the more straight-and-level flyer. This book emphasizes techniques for the Cessna Aerobat models, but the described maneuvers easily translate to other aerobatics-certified airplanes.

Starting with stalls, chandelles and lazy-8’s, the student is guided through spins and the Three Fundamentals of basic aerobatics: the aileron roll, loop, and the snap roll. Once these basics are learned, the combination maneuvers (the cloverleaf, for example) are covered in-depth.

This third edition includes a new chapter on loss of control in-flight (LOC-I), the leading cause of fatal general aviation accidents, to complement the chapter on unusual attitudes (upset) recovery for pilots especially focused on flight safety. Returning to controlled flight solely by reference to instruments is examined closely. The chapter on spins and spin recovery benefits from the knowledge gained in over 7,000 spins, each having from 3 to 25 turns, in the Cessna Aerobat.

This manual explains and illustrates 26 aerobatic maneuvers in a six-lesson supplement to introductory aerobatics instruction. It covers the following subjects:

Introduction to Aerobatic Flight

  • Federal Aviation Regulations
  • Physical Condition
  • Acceleration Forces

Preparatory Maneuvers

  • Stalls
  • Steep Power Turns
  • The Chandelle
  • The Wingover
  • The Lazy Eight


  • A General Review
  • Mechanics of the Spin
  • Spinning the Aerobat

Basic Aerobatic Maneuvers

  • The Three Fundamentals
  • The Aileron Roll
  • The Loop
  • The Snap Roll

Loop-Roll Combinations

  • Loops followed by Aileron Rolls
  • The Cloverleaf
  • The Cuban Eight
  • The Immelmann
  • The Coordination Exercise
  • Spins and Combinations

More Variations and Combinations

  • The Barrel Roll
  • The Snap at the Top of a Loop
  • The Reverse Cuban Eight
  • Hesitation Rolls
  • The Reverse Cloverleaf

Recoveries from Unusual Attitudes

  • Wake Turbulence
  • Hoodwork

Bill Kershner was FAA/General Aviation Flight Instructor of the Year in 1992 and named Elder Statesman of Aviation in 1997. He was inducted into the Flight Instructor Hall of Fame in 1998. His son, William C. Kershner, was soloed by his father and holds Flight Instructor and Airline Transport Pilot certificates. He has flown 22 types of airplanes in his over 10,000 hours of flight time, ranging from Cessna 150s to Boeing 777s.

Bill Kershner left us to go West in 2007 but his legacy remains with continued publishing of his books. Bill founded Ace Aerobatic School in Sewanee, Tennessee in 1969. He was known as the "Spin Doctor" for his interest in spins, having logged more than 8,000 spins totaling some 35,000 turns; Kershner only counted spins of at least three turns and didn't record spins at all during his first 24 years of flying.

He was the national General Aviation Flight Instructor of the Year in 1992. At his Ace Aerobatic School, Kershner provided spin recovery and aerobatic training to hundreds of pilots, and he continued to teach ground school into late December 2006.

"He had a soft spot in his heart for student pilots and CFIs," as said by Bruce Landsberg of AOPA's Air Safety Foundation. "Being an engineer at heart, he would step up to the blackboard and start doing equations to explain some aerodynamic truth. When pressed to put it in English so that a dumb pilot (me) could understand it - he always could."

Flight instructor Catherine Cavagnaro, whom Kershner mentored into aerobatic instruction, continues to operate Ace Aerobatic School. Cavagnaro purchased a Cessna 152 Aerobat nearly identical to Kershner's which she named Wilbur. Kershner's veteran Aerobat, Orville, is now on display at the National Air and Space Museum.

Softcover, 128 pages.

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