Aviation sports are competitive activities that involve aircraft, including airplanes, helicopters, gliders, and airships. Competitions are held for different weight categories, with a variety of objectives. Aerobatics are a form of competition that involves performing maneuvers, aerobatic figures, and stunts while flying. These competitions attract thousands of spectators, and are accompanied by colorful displays and demonstrations.
In the United States, there are a number of different Air Sport Organizations. Many of them are affiliated with the National Aeronautic Association (NAA). NAA is a national governing body for air sport organizations. The NAA provides a variety of programs to maintain interest in aviation and to preserve social aspects of aviation. Some of its programs are open to the general public, while others are limited to current members.
There are also various Air Sports Organizations that are associated with the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA). These organizations represent different disciplines of flying. They include ultralight aviation, which is a light-aircraft hobby, and RC planes. Other organizations specialize in ballooning, aeromodeling, and gliding.
One of the most exciting aspects of aviation sports is canopy piloting. Canopy pilots perform aerial feats above a small body of water, with scores based on their accuracy and speed. This type of sport is especially challenging, as the pilot must be able to control the canopy in the face of extreme speed.
Another form of aerobatics is kitesurfing. Kitesurfing involves the use of a board and a kite, and is similar to skydiving. However, the main difference is that the pilot uses a motor to propel the body instead of a parachute.
A popular sport among Alaskan bush pilots is bush pilot sport, which involves a series of competitions that pit heavily modified aircraft against each other. It includes such activities as the shortest take-off and landing run and the shortest distance flight.
Skydiving is another form of competition. In this sport, the pilot jumps out of an airplane and then travels to the ground, with the help of a parachute. Most of the top competitors are professional parachutists. Those who are interested in this sport can find out more by visiting the Aviation Sports Complex in Marrietta, Georgia.
A group of hardcore veterans breaks world records in aviation sports. Many of the best competitors work for parachute manufacturers. Although regular skydiving is expensive, skydiving in a wind tunnel has become its own form of the sport.
An important international organization is the Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI). FAI was founded in 1905, and it aims to promote the development of air sports in the world. It organizes world championship competitions for different air sports, and it keeps records of all the records in each discipline.
The EAA was established in 1953 by Paul Poberezny. He operated the organization out of his basement for about 10 years, until he moved the museum to Oshkosh, Wisconsin, in 1983. Today, EAA has over 200,000 members.
Air sports can be a lot of fun, but they can also be dangerous. Many accidents are the result of pilot error, and they cause severe injuries.