Aerobatic Training Course

Aerobatic Training

CAA Aerobatic Rating

Welcome to the world of Aerobatics. Your journey starts here in the beautiful Devon countryside.

The Aerobatic Rating is a lifetime rating. It may be undertaken by any pilot with a UK CAA issued Licence, who has completed at least 40 hours’ flight time as PIC, in the appropriate aircraft category, since the issue of their Licence. The course requires at least 5 hours of aerobatic instruction (translating to 8 hours of flying time), or 20 flights and theoretical knowledge.

Flying from Dunkeswell is a real treat giving you stunning views as well as unrestricted airspace. Yeovil radar and Exeter give a fantastic traffic service, important when carrying out aerobatics. With aerobatic training it is beneficial to have line features for use on most of the manoeuvres and with the M5 and several railway lines within a short distance from the airfield, this keeps positioning time to the minimum.

The instructors are very experienced and between them have many thousands of hours’ instructional experience: Andy Wilkins owns the Super Decathlon used in training. He is also a UPRT instructor, as well as a full aerobatic instructor and benefits from many years’ flying experience.

Our Course is based around the basic aerobatic course but we can teach up to intermediate aerobatics.

There is nothing more challenging or exhilarating in aviation than aerobatics. It also helps you become a better overall pilot:

  • It increases pilot awareness and safety
  • Builds more confidence in handling and decision making
  • It is totally addictive. Once experienced you will want more
  • It will re-invigorate your interest in flying
  • You will gain freedom and confidence, fundamentally making you a better pilot
  • Teaches you a complete new set of skills


The Cost

From £2,500 including all taxes and VAT.

Tailwheel training if required will be extra – charged at £250 per hour.

The Course

What does the Aerobatic course cover?


The course consists of a minimum of 8 hours dual flying, with either Andy or Bruce. Pilots with some aerobatic experience may qualify for a reduction in the flying hours 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. 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 CAA, accompanied by a fee.

Flight Training

  • Loop
  • Aileron (ballistic) roll
  • Barrel roll
  • Slow (level) roll
  • Stall turn
  • Half roll off 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

  • Technical Subjects
    – Legislation affecting aerobatic flying
    – Airframe and engine limitations (revision)
    – Stalling & spinning (principles of flight)
  • Physical Limitations
    – Body stresses (‘G’ forces)
    – Disorientation
    – Airsickness
  • Limitations Applicable to the Specific Aeroplane Type
    – Load factors
    – Airspeeds
    – Engine (including inverted flight limitations)
  • Emergency Drills
    – Aircraft abandonment
  • Aresti System
    – Notation for basic aerobatic manoeuvres (

The Aircraft

Super Decathlon

The Super Decathlon is renowned as a brilliant aerobatic aircraft rated to +6 -5. Ideal as a training aircraft, it was originally imported from America by its well-known owner, James May, at only 300 hours. It now has only 800 hours on the airframe and still looks brand new. The aircraft has also recently had a new engine to satisfy the requirements for public transport operation.

As the aircraft is a tailwheel aircraft you may need extra time to add a tailwheel endorsement to your licence.

"I recently completed my aerobatics rating with Southwest Aerobatics. The Super Decathlon is a beautiful aircraft to fly and wonderful to learn aerobatics in. All the instructors were amazing, and the training was excellent and concise. We worked over and above the required syllabus, by learning loops, rolls, Cuban and reverse Cuban eights and immelmanns. As well as being incredible fun the principles that the course teaches brings a great understanding of aircraft handling in general and how to deal with most scenarios and eventualities. Skills that bring a significant safety edge to your flying. The location of the airfield also brings a truly unique opportunity to learn aerobatics in one of the most beautiful locations in England. 10/10"

Ellie Carter