1. PURPOSE. This Advisory Circular (AC) provides prospective
event sponsors and other interested parties with information
necessary to assist in planning and conducting a safe aviation
event. In addition, it provides information on the application
process for a Certificate of Waiver or Authorization.
2. CANCELLATION. AC 91-45B, Waivers - Airshows/Contests/Races, dated
August 5, 1981, is cancelled.
3. RELATED FAR SECTIONS. Parts 61, 91, 103, and 105.
4. FORMS AND REPORTS. Samples of the following forms are provided in
a. FAA Form 7711-2, Application for Certificate of Waiver or
Authorization. This form can be obtained from the local FAA
Flight Standards District Office (FSDO).
b. FAA Form 7711-1, Certificate of Waiver or Authorization, will
be issued by the FAA FSDO upon approval of FAA Form 7711-2.
5. BACKGROUND. Numerous waivers are issued each year by the Federal
Aviation Administration (FAA) for the purpose of aviation events or
aerial demonstrations. These waivers are issued based on the FAA
policy that anytime the agency determines a proposed event will be
in the public interest in terms of safety and environmental
concerns, a waiver will be issued predicated on specific
requirements of the event. Regardless of the purposes for which an
aviation event is sponsored, events or show sites judged unsafe
shall not be accepted for waiver or authorization consideration.
Based on the foregoing, this AC is intended to explain many of the
requirements necessary when considering the show site, facilities,
the level of competence of participants, waivers and/or
authorizations required, and other items of concern to the
prospective aviation event sponsor.
6. DEFINITIONS. Many terms used in this AC are unique to aerial
demonstration/aviation events; therefore, the following definitions
shall enhance the understanding of their application:
a. Aerobatic Flight. The FAA has determined that for purposes of
an aviation event, an acrobatic maneuver means an intentional
maneuver in which the aircraft is in sustained inverted
flight or is rolled from upright to inverted or from inverted
to upright position. All standard aviation event aerobatic
maneuvers such as slow rolls, snap rolls, loops, Immelmanns,
cuban eights, spins, hammerhead turns, etc., may not be
performed over congested areas or over spectators. Steep
banked, level, climbing, or descending turns necessary during
maneuvering between aerobatics are not considered to be
aviation event acrobatic maneuvers. Normal positioning turns
for high performance aircraft operated by the military
regardless of angle or bank or pitch attitude, are not
considered to be aviation event acrobatic maneuvers. Normal
maneuvers, such as steep turns, involved in air racing are
not considered acrobatic.
b. Aviation Events include airshows, air races, aerobatic
contests, parachute demonstration jumps, practice areas
designated for aerobatic proficiency or training, and balloon
meets and races. Most events are held at or immediately
adjacent to an airport. An increasing number, however, are
held offshore (within gliding distance of land), over water,
in the vicinity of a state fairground, or at other
off-airport locations. Aerobatic school activities or
aerobatic meets may occur which are not aviation events,
contests, or races, even though a waiver must be issued. At
these school activities or meets that are not advertised as
aviation events, it may not be necessary to provide public
aviation event policing and emergency facilities.
c. Certificate of Waiver or Authorization. FAA Form 7711-1,
Certificate of Waiver or Authorization, is issued after
proper application and approval, for the purpose of providing
TEMPORARY RELIEF from certain designated Federal Aviation
d. Control Point. A specified location where the show sponsor, a
designated representative, or safety director manages the
aviation event. The communications capability necessary to
control the aviation event must also be located at this site.
e. Crowd Line. A physical barrier or a line marked on the ground
which, with added policing, serves as a restraining line. The
crowd line is placed at a specified distance from the
showline. The barrier must prevent spectators or other
nonparticipants from encroaching upon the showline.
f. Inspector-in-Charge. The FAA inspector-in-charge is an
individual who conducts the feasibility study (if needed),
participates in the preseason evaluation meeting, evaluates
the application for waiver or authorization, recommends
issuance or denial, and who conducts the surveillance of the
g. Markers used in balloon competition tasks for dropping or
marking targets are small flour bags, with a maximum weight
of 3 ounces and a fabric tail 4 inches wide and 6 feet long.
The international standard for markers is 100 grams maximum
weight, with a tail 10 cm wide and 2 meters long. Markers
made to this specification should not injure persons or
h. The Primary Spectator Area is the main area provided by the
sponsor for spectator use. This is the area where the public
can generally be expected to view the airshow.
i. The Secondary Spectator Area may be any other area where
persons have a natural tendency to gather to observe the
event. This is generally an area opposite the showline from
the primary spectator area or a road, etc. Secondary
Spectator Areas should be agreed upon by the show sponsor and
the FAA inspector-in-charge before the aviation event begins.
These are areas where it is usually not possible to eliminate
the presence of people.
j. Show Center is a reference point along the showline denoting
the center of the operating area.
k. A Showline is a prominent, readily-visible ground reference
such as a river, runway, taxiway, canal, breakwater, road, or
any straight line that enhances pilot orientation during
aerobatic routines (Appendix 1, Figure 1). The
showline also serves as the horizontal axis for the show.
Snow fences spread flat on the ground may also make
acceptable references depending on the visual contrast. Lines
of parked buses, cars, or boats, although less desirable, may
be the only alternatives when natural showlines are not
l. A Show Season generally runs from April through October of a
given year. Geographical and climatological circumstances can
lengthen or shorten the show season.
m. A Waiver is an official document issued by the FAA which
authorizes certain operations of aircraft in deviation from a
regulation, but under conditions ensuring an equivalent level
a. Scope of Waivers. Waivers vary insofar as the rules that are
requested to be waived. Some events require nothing more than
waiving FAR 91.71(d) to permit acrobatic flight at less
than 1,500 feet above the surface. Others may require waiving
aircraft speed limitations, minimum safe altitudes, or
limitations while operating in the vicinity of airports or
even within a Terminal Control Area (TCA).
b. A request for a waiver of the basic Visual Flight Rules
weather minimums specified in FAR 91.105 shall be
considered only - -
(1) In areas where the entire event can be conducted with Air
Traffic providing separation between participating
aircraft and nonparticipating aircraft, and
(2) When provisions are made to advise participants of
uncontrolled aircraft that may present a hazard. This does
not imply that Air Traffic assumes the responsibility for
providing separation of performing aircraft.
c. Regulations Affected. A sponsor should consider factors that
directly affect the rules to be waived. These include show
site, type of aircraft maneuvers to be performed. etc.
Sections of the FAR that should be waived for some other
events in certain locations or that are more complex are:
(1) FAR 91.70, Aircraft speed.
(2) FAR 91.79(b) and (c), Minimum safe altitude.
(3) FAR 91.85, Operating on or in the vicinity of an
(4) FAR 91.87, Operations at airports with operating control
(5) FAR 91.89, Operations at airports without operating
(6) FAR 91.90, Terminal control areas.
d. Regulations that May or May Not Be Waived. FAR 91.79(a)
SHALL NOT BE WAIVED FOR AERIAL DEMONSTRATION PURPOSES. FAR
91.79 (b) and (c) may be waived only when the following
conditions are met.
(1) A waiver of the requirements of FAR 91.79(b) and (c) is
issued for aerial demonstrations by the U.S. Air Force
"Thunderbirds," the U.S. Navy "Blue Angels," tactical
aircraft demonstrations approved by the appropriate
military command, and the Canadian "Snowbirds." These
performers or teams have Command-approved maneuver
packages that are submitted to and approved by the FAA.
These maneuver packages describe normal routines that do
not call for aviation event aerobatic maneuvers over
congested areas, over persons, or over the primary or
secondary spectator areas.
(2) A waiver may be issued to performers, other than those
covered in the preceding paragraph, to transition a
congested area at less than the minimum altitudes
described in FAR 91.79(b) and (c) in nonaerobatic flight.
The ingress and egress to the aerobatic/fly-by area must
be in compliance with the following:
(i) Aerobatic demonstration - -
(A) During ingress (Appendix 1, Figure 2) to
the aerobatic area from flight above a congested
area, the pilots are expected to leave the
altitude being flown as described above so that a
smooth transition may be made to the performance
altitude in the aerobatic area. Steep approaches
may be made; however, in no case shall the descent
angle to the aerobatic area be less than that
required for a normal approach for a landing for
the aircraft involved.
(B) During egress (Appendix 1, Figure 3) from
the aerobatic area for flight above a congested
area, the pilots are expected to climb at a rate
consistent with a safe operation or the best angle
of climb pitch attitude for the aircraft involved.
If prolonged flight over a congested area is
required, the climb shall be continued to at least
1,000 feet above the highest obstacle within a
horizontal radius of 2,000 feet of the aircraft
During the positioning turns above the congested
area, there shall be no aviation event aerobatic
(ii) Fly-by Demonstrations - -
(A) During ingress (Appendix 1, Figure 2) to
the fifty-by area from flight over a congested
area, pilots are expected to leave the altitude
flown above the congested area so that a smooth
transition may be made to the fly-by altitude in
the fly-by area. Steep approaches may be made;
however, in no case shall the descent angle to the
fly-by area be less than that required for a
normal approach for a landing for the aircraft
(B) During egress (Appendix 1, Figure 3) from
the fly-by area for flight over a congested area,
the pilots are expected to climb at a rate
consistent with a safe operation or the best angle
of climb pitch attitude for the aircraft involved.
If prolonged flight is to be conducted above a
congested area, the climb shall be continued to at
least 1,000 feet above the highest obstacle within
a horizontal radius of 2,000 feet from the
aircraft. During positioning turns above a
congested area there shall be no aviation event
acrobatic maneuvers performed. The showline for
fly-by demonstrations shall not be closer than 500
feet to the primary or secondary spectator
e. Performers must determine, at each show site, that
geographical/atmospheric conditions allow performance within
the limitations of their aircraft. If there are obstructions
or atmospheric conditions, such as density altitude, which do
not allow a safe transition over a congested area or back
into the performance area, the operation may be allowed if
the performers raise the altitude of the acrobatic or fly-by
maneuver so that the ingress and egress over the congested
area can be safely accomplished.
f. Ultralight Vehicle Operations.
(1) Any ultralight that meets the applicability of FAR 103.1
may be operated as an ultralight vehicle in accordance
with FAR Part 103 or the operator may elect to certificate
the vehicle and operate under applicable aircraft
regulations. It is important to remember that an
ultralight vehicle that has been certificated as an
aircraft and no longer operated under FAR Part 103 must
meet the same requirements as a conventional aircraft.
This includes aircraft operational limitations, pilot
certification, and statement of acrobatic competency.
(2) Aerobatic flight demonstrations by ultralight vehicles
shall be included on an FAA Form 7711-1, with appropriate
special conditions, only when a statement of determination
that the vehicle and the operator are able to conduct the
proposed demonstration without creating a hazard to
persons and property on the surface has been submitted
with the application. The statement should contain a
summary of how the determination was made.
(3) Regardless of the category (aircraft/ultralight vehicle),
aerobatic demonstrations by ultralights must meet the
separation standards for aviation event performances that
are applicable to conventional aircraft with a level
flight cruise speed that is less than 156 knots using 75
Daniel C. Beaudette
Director, Flight Standards Service
CHAPTER 1. GENERAL
1. WHO MAY SPONSOR AN AVIATION EVENT? Anyone, either an individual or
an organization, who wishes to sponsor an aviation event may do so
as long as the proper forms and supporting documentation are
submitted to the FAA and subsequently approved.
2. SPONSOR EXPERIENCE. The experienced sponsor of an aviation event is
generally well acquainted with the requirements and procedures for
obtaining the necessary waiver. However, in some instances,
individuals or organizations attempting to sponsor an event for the
first time are not aware that an FAA Form 7711-1, Certificate of
Waiver or Authorization, is required. For an inexperienced sponsor,
the local FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) can provide
valuable information and assistance.
3. INDUSTRY ASSISTANCE. Additional guidance from industry
representatives may be obtained by contacting the International
Council of Air Shows (ICAS), P.O. Box 1105, 1910 Horton Road,
Jackson, Michigan 49204, (517) 782-2424. This organization,
comprised of aviation event sponsors and performers from all over
the world, can provide valuable assistance. Also, numerous
independent clubs and associations formed by airshow performers,
such as the Professional Airshow Performers Association (PAPA), can
provide the same type of information. In addition, there are several
commercial aviation event groups that offer a wide variety of
services ranging from assisting and staging, to contracting an
entire aviation event. Many of these clubs, associations, and
commercial groups are affiliated with the Experimental Aircraft
Association (EAA), Wittman Airfield, Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54903.
Further information may be obtained by contacting the EAA at (414)
4. SPONSOR PLANNING. Thorough planning has a direct bearing on the
success and safety of any event. Therefore, it is in everyone's best
interest that an effective plan for all facets of the event be
a. Preshow Planning. The following items should be discussed
with the FAA FSDO before beginning preparation of FAA Form
7711-2, Application for Certificate of Waiver or
(1) Type of Event (acrobatics, balloon race, parachute
(2) Status of Performers (military versus civilian).
(3) Site Selection.
(i) Airport sites.
(iii) Other sites.
(iv) Planned crowd control.
(4) Policing of the safety zone.
(6) Emergency equipment and personnel.
(iv) Crash wagon.
(7) Normal airport traffic.
(8) Vehicular traffic problems.
b. Post-event Planning. Most successful sponsors dedicate
considerable time and effort planning for the conclusion of
the aviation event. They do this because they understand that
all the effort expended producing a successful show could be
ruined in the chaos that follows the termination of the
event. With the disappearance of crowd control personnel,
sponsors have learned that the more spectators kept at the
show site for a period of 30 to 40 minutes after the main
attraction, the safer it will be for everyone. Some examples
of ways to keep spectators at the show site are:
(1) Have the demonstration pilots remain after the show to
talk with the spectators and sign autographs.
(2) Conduct a raffle or drawing and give away the prizes after
the show ends.
(3) The demonstration aircraft can be put on display at the
end of the show so that the remaining spectators can get a
closer look at both aircraft and performer.
CHAPTER 2. PREPARATION FOR AN AVIATION EVENT
SECTION 1. PREAPPLICATION PREPARATION
11. DETERMINING WHICH SECTIONS OF THE FAR NEED TO BE WAIVED. The
sections of the FAR that will need to be waived depend largely on
the types of operations to be conducted at the aviation event. In an
effort to determine which sections of the FAR need to be waived, the
sponsor should ask himself or herself certain questions.
a. Questions that should be asked are:
(1) What sort of routines will be staged?
(2) Will there be demonstrations by small, slow-speed aircraft
only or will high performance aircraft be involved?
(3) Will military demonstration teams participate?
(4) Will a parachute demonstration be staged?
(5) Will the event include hot air balloon ascensions?
b. The answers to these questions and other areas unique to each
aviation event will help the sponsor in determining which FAR
need to be waived.
12. SITE SELECTION.
a. Selection of a site for an aviation event is of the utmost
importance. If the selected site does not permit the minimum
separation distances discussed in paragraph 15, FAA Form
7711-2, Application for Certificate of Waiver or
Authorization, shall not be approved. It is important that
the selection accommodate all the specific types of aerial
demonstrations, without derogating safety or creating a
hazard to any nonparticipant or spectator. In addition, it is
imperative that all areas adjacent to the show site
containing homes, factories, major highways, well-traveled
thorough-fares, or any occupied vessel, vehicle, or
structure, be carefully evaluated before making a final
decision for site selection.
(1) Airports. An airport environment is probably best suited
for aerial demonstrations/aviation events. If the local
airport environment provides the necessary separation
distances, it should be given first consideration as a
probable site since demonstration pilots prefer a runway
within gliding distance of the demonstration area.
(i) The spectator area should be clearly defined. Frontage
of the spectator area might range from 1,500 feet to
3,000 feet. It is not recommended that the spectator
area frontage be greater than 3,000 feet. This is to
allow proper run-in and exit corridors for
(ii) Depth of the spectator area is determined by required
display areas, paved surfaces, and other
considerations which are peculiar to each facility.
The important point is to define the frontage and
sides of the spectator area, making them compatible
with planned aerial demonstrations.
(2) Fairground Sites. In some instances, fairgrounds are
selected as sites in lieu of attempting to stage an event
at a less than ideal airport site. These sites offer
certain advantages not normally found at an airport. The
grounds are generally well fenced, usually making crowd
control a simple task. Also, frequently, grandstands or
bleachers, concession stand areas, well-marked first-aid
stations, police, and sometimes a fairground fire
department are readily established. In addition, the
typical fairground is better able to cope with the
vehicular traffic generated by an event than the typical
airport that may have only one or two access roads.
(3) Other Sites. A lake or other open area bordering the edge
of a town or at a park where an open area could be found
may provide a desirable site for certain aerial
demonstrations. In any case, the area over which the
acrobatic demonstrations are to be conducted must be void
of vehicles, persons, or inhabited structures.
b. Airport Coordination. Most of the support functions necessary
to accommodate and service aircraft are located at airports.
In addition, the (normally) vast expanse of open area found
at airports is conducive to better spectator visibility and
comfort. Pilots also prefer operating from an airport
environment because it provides direct access to runways and
open areas for any emergency requiring an immediate landing.
Every aviation event will require the closing of the selected
facility for some period of time. This may range from a short
time on the weekend to long periods on the days before the
event and during the actual show days. Do not forget that
certain portions of the facility may need to be closed to
accommodate physical setup and preparation for the event. The
impact of all this must be considered as a part of the early
c. Air Traffic Control. Naturally, if the airport is served by a
control tower, radio communications will be handled by the
Air Traffic facility. Care must be taken to ensure that radio
communications or prearranged ground-to-air signals are
established with each performer as a preface to the conduct
of the actual event. Even if every aircraft is equipped with
two-way radio, a ground-to-air recall signal must also be
provided to the performers. If the airport is served by a
scheduled air carrier, arrangements must be made for the
arrival and departure of such aircraft. Generally, it is
adequate to schedule a break in the activities to allow for
scheduled arrivals and departures.
d. If there is not 1,000 feet between the primary and the
secondary spectator areas, the location will not be
considered for an aviation event waiver.
e. If the site cannot provide a 500-foot distance from the
showline to the spectators, the location will not be
considered for an aviation event waiver.
13. SUPPORTING DATA. For most events, supporting data must address the
following major concerns:
a. Where the public attends the event, it is necessary that
adequate "spectator areas" be provided to isolate spectators
(1) Flight areas.
(2) Active runways.
(3) Runup areas.
(4) Other active areas such as emergency or police helipads,
parachute landing areas, etc.
b. Methods that will be used to ensure areas outside of the
designated spectator area will also be secure.
c. Maps, charts, diagrams, or other data appropriate to the
activities and locations should be submitted with the
application. For an aviation event, an appropriate 7.5 series
Topographic Quadrangle Map, published by the U.S. Geological
Survey (Scale 1:24,000), for the proposed area should be
submitted. Additional aerial photographs depicting the entire
site and ranging out from the show center to a radius of from
1/2 to 2 1/2 miles, depending upon the type of event planned,
may also be submitted. Appropriate showlines, safety zones,
spectator areas, control centers, location of emergency
facilities, etc., should accompany FAA Form 7711-2.
14. SELECTION OF PERFORMERS. Before the FAA approves any pilot to
perform low-level aerobatics in close proximity to spectators or
other persons on the surface, that pilot's competency to safely
perform individual routines must be verified. Except for pilots
assigned to official military teams, each pilot must be properly
certificated and rated for the aircraft to be flown. In addition,
each pilot must possess a current FAA Form 8710-7, Statement of
Acrobatic Competency, signed by an FAA inspector (Appendix 1,
a. If a demonstration pilot does not hold an FAA Form 8710-7,
the FAA will require a satisfactory demonstration of the
aerobatic routine. When this has been accomplished, an FAA
Form 8710-7 will be issued and the airman will be allowed to
participate under the terms and conditions of the waiver.
Early application for FAA Form 8710-7 is encouraged because
of the critical time constraints just before an aviation
event. The responsibility for obtaining the Statement of
Acrobatic Competency lies with the airman, not the aviation
b. Nonairmen participants, such as parachutists, can be accepted
on the basis of a license issued by the United States
Parachute Association (USPA) or similar license. Further
guidance on parachutists and parachuting can be found in
c. The FAA does not require certification or licensing of
operators of ultralight vehicles, wing-walkers, ribbon cut
personnel, and drivers of vehicles for a car-to-plane
d. In order to avoid a possible cancellation of a performer or a
delay of the aviation event, verification that all scheduled
participants are properly qualified and/or certificated by
the FAA and, where appropriate, by other FAA recognized
groups or organizations should be made.
e. Further guidance on military teams can be found in Chapter 3.
f. If an air race is part of the aviation event, guidance for an
air race course design can be found in Chapter 4.
g. Further guidance on balloon meets and balloon competitions
can be found in Chapter 5.
15. ESTABLISHING THE SHOWLINES.
a. The establishment of the showlines as the first order of
business is preferable to establishing the crowd line and
then determining the showlines.
b. In order to enhance safety, the showline may be moved toward
or away from the spectator area to give the performer a more
identifiable reference. However, the showline should not be
moved from specified distances.
c. The 500-foot showline represents the minimum horizontal
distance that is authorized under FAR 91.79(c). The
500-foot showline is NEVER waived with regard to any
spectator area. Routines that involve several aircraft in
formation or nonaerobatic fly-bys must ensure that the
nearest aircraft to the spectator area does not operate
closer than 500 feet. This may require that the showline be
more than 500 feet from the spectator area.
d. The showline is used as a reference by the performer or, in
the case of formation flight, by the formation's leader. It
is of paramount importance that showlines provide guidance to
the performers during their routines. In the case of aircraft
formations, performers must adjust to the showline to ensure
that the critical aircraft is not closer than 500 feet from a
spectator area. If the takeoff runway is closer than 500 feet
from the primary or secondary spectator areas, no aerobatics
may be permitted until the aircraft has passed the end of the
spectator area and then only if there is no congested area or
spectators under the performing aircraft. Under the same
conditions, an acrobatic maneuver may be performed after
takeoff following a turn away from spectator areas.
e. Pilots performing flight demonstrations must maintain the
following minimum showline distances from the spectator
areas. These distances are predicated on 75 percent power in
straight and level flight for piston aircraft. For turbine
aircraft, the distances are based on demonstrated normal
cruise speed. Showline categories, speeds, and distances are
shown in Table 1.
f. As described in the table below, three different showlines
might be required when all three categories of aircraft are
participating at a show site. Because all show sites do not
have prominent surface lines for use as showlines that are
located exactly 500, 1,000, or 1,500 feet from spectator
areas, it may not be possible to move the spectator area to
arrive at these distances. The optimum situation is when
prominent showlines are 500, 1,000, or 1,500 feet from
spectator areas as appropriate to the aircraft being operated
at the show. These distances from the showline to the
spectators for each category of aircraft are desirable,
however, there are other considerations. There shall be no
waiver of the 500-foot showline for Category III aircraft.
For a show site where a runway is located less than that
prescribed from an area that provides for the safety of the
spectators, it is desirable to use the runway as the showline
rather than a poorly marked line at the 1,000- or 1,500-foot
mark. The safety of the performance and that of the
spectators is enhanced by the participants using a
well-defined showline. This is not to say that the spectator
areas should be enlarged so that the optimum prescribed
distances are not available. Again, for the safety of the
performers and the spectators, the showline may be moved in
or out to avoid antennas, windsocks, tree lines, etc. The
show- line, however, may not be closer than the mini- mums
specified in the following paragraphs.
(1) Category I Showline. The optimum showline distance from
spectator areas for Category I aircraft shall be 1,500
feet or greater (Appendix 1, Figure 5). If the
only well-defined showline is closer than 1,500 feet to a
spectator area and it is not possible to move the
Table 1. Showline Categories, Speeds, and Distances
SHOWLINE DISTANCE FROM
CATEGORY CRUISE SPEED SPECTATOR AREA
I More than 245 knots 1,500 feet
II More than 156 knots 1,000 feet
Less than 245 knots
(181 to 282 MPH)
Acrobatic Helicopters 1,000 feet
III Less than 156 knots 500 feet
Acrobatic Gliders (Sailplanes) 500 feet
Nonacrobatic Aircraft 500 feet
area so that it is 1,500 feet from the showline, the
showline may be approved down to AN ABSOLUTE MINIMUM
DISTANCE OF 1,200 FEET. When there is a reduction in the
distance from the showline to the primary spectator area,
a similar reduction SHALL NOT BE PERMITTED on the
secondary spectator area side of the showline (Appendix 1,
Figures 6 and 7). For example, if the
showline is 1,300 feet from the primary spectator area,
there must remain 1,500 feet from the showline to the
secondary spectator area. IN NO CASE SHALL THERE BE LESS
THAN 2,700 FEET BETWEEN THE PRIMARY AND THE SECONDARY
(2) Category II Showline. The optimum showline distance from
spectator areas for Category II aircraft shall be 1,000
feet. If the only well-defined showline is closer to a
spectator area than 1,000 feet, and it is not possible to
move the spectator area so that it is 1,000 feet from the
showline, it may be approved down to AN ABSOLUTE MINIMUM
DISTANCE OF 800 FEET (Appendix 1, Figure 8). When
there is a reduction in the distance from the showline to
the primary spectator area, a similar reduction SHALL NOT
BE PERMITTED on the secondary spectator side. For example:
If the showline is 800 feet from the primary spectator
area, there must remain 1,000 feet from the showline to
the secondary spectator area. IN NO CASE SHALL THERE BE
LESS THAN 1,000 FEET BETWEEN THE PRIMARY AND THE SECONDARY
(3) Category III Showline. The showline SHALL NOT be closer
than 500 feet from the primary or secondary spectator
areas (Appendix 1, Figure 9).
g. The 500-foot showline may also be used for Category I or II
aircraft being flown nonaerobatically and parallel to the
primary and/or secondary spectator area.
h. An arc directed away from the crowd, i.e., "Pass in Review"
maneuver, may be flown provided the aircraft remain at least
500 feet from the primary and/or the secondary spectator
i. Takeoff and Landing Areas.
(1) When the takeoff runway is closer than 500 feet from the
primary or secondary spectator areas, no aerobatics are
permitted until the aircraft passes the end of the
spectator area and then only if there is no congested area
or spectators under the aircraft that is performing
aerobatics (Appendix 1, Figure 10).
(2) When the takeoff runway is less than 500 feet from the
spectators, an aerobatic maneuver may be performed after
takeoff following a rum away from spectator areas
(Appendix 1, Figure 11).
(3) Spectator areas may not be located closer than 500 feet
from any takeoff and landing runway or area when the
normal landing speed of any aircraft exceeds 100 knots
(Appendix 1, Figure 12).
(4) The "flying farmer" or similar routines that involve
excessive maneuvering immediately after take-off or just
before landing must also be separated from the spectator
area by at least 500 feet (Appendix 1, Figure
(5) If the entire airshow involves aircraft with landing
speeds less than 100 knots and there is not excessive
maneuvering during takeoff or landing, spectators may be
located as close as 200 feet from the takeoff or landing
areas (Appendix 1, Figure 13).
j. Engine Run Areas. Areas where engines, propellers, or rotors
will be turning must be at least 100 feet from the spectator
area unless they are protected by a barrier that prevents
entry by unauthorized personnel.
k. Rotorcraft Takeoff and Landing Areas. During some aviation
events there may be helicopters taking "VIP's" for rides or
serving as emergency vehicles. The landing and takeoff areas
used by these aircraft should be enclosed in a manner that
prevents unauthorized persons from entering the helipad. The
helipads should be located so the aircraft does not pass over
spectators during takeoff or landing. Regardless of the
emergency or nature of the operation, spectators must not be
1. Sailplane Operations. Airshow aerobatic demonstrations with
sailplanes are becoming more numerous around the country.
Sailplanes, by their very nature, are less hazardous than
powered aircraft. Sailplanes do not have engines and
propellers, nor do they carry flammable liquids that could
cause injury to spectators. For these reasons, the following
criteria apply ONLY TO SAILPLANE OPERATIONS.
(1) Sailplanes fall into the Category III group. Category III
showline and performance distances apply.
(2) Because of the sailplane's need for a tow by either an
airplane or a car, taxiways are often used for takeoff.
This is advantageous in many cases since it allows the tow
plane, towline, and the sailplane to be positioned without
congesting the active runway or affecting the operation of
powered aircraft. Unless there are obstructions that would
make a taxiway takeoff unsafe, it should be permitted with
a minimum distance from the primary spectator area of 200
feet (Appendix 1, Figure 14). This distance may
be reduced to 150 feet when the takeoff path, beginning at
or near the center of the spectator area, is at an angle
of at least 10 away from spectators (Appendix 1,
(3) Landings may be approved on the taxiway used for the
takeoff as long as there are no obstructions or adverse
wind conditions that would create a hazard to the
spectators. If the landing approach requires a low
altitude turn over spectators, landing on the taxiway
shall not be permitted.
(4) This part does not apply to motorgliders which are treated
as powered aircraft.
16. POLICING. There is no specific requirement for the use of uniformed
police or security guards. The need for special policing depends
upon several factors.
a. If fencing is used for crowd control, there may be little
need for special crowd-control personnel. On the other hand,
if the sponsor intends merely to cordon off the primary or
secondary spectator areas with rope, it might be necessary to
have special crowd-control personnel.
b. With respect to crowd control, remember that it is the
sponsor's - - NOT the FAA's responsibility - - to ensure that
all reasonable efforts are made to confine spectators to the
primary and secondary spectator areas. If reasonable efforts
have been taken and unauthorized persons or vehicles enter
the area where aviation event aerobatic maneuvers are
performed, efforts must be made to remove them from the area.
Good judgment should be used when determining whether it is
necessary to halt a show to protect persons on the ground.
c. One policing need that is often ignored is the airspace where
aviation event aerobatic maneuvers are performed overlaps
roads or highways. This can present a problem unless
arrangements are made to control traffic. If a road runs
beneath the operating area and that road is not patrolled,
motorists could park on the shoulders to enjoy the show. If
this condition exists, arrangements should be made to have
the traffic controlled. Transition over a road or highway
underlying the operating area is the same as egress or
ingress over congested areas. There is no requirement for
termination of an aviation event aerobatic maneuver at a
given distance from a road or highway, but, as with a
congested area, aviation event aerobatic maneuvers may not be
performed over roads or highways unless the road or highway
has been dosed and no persons are allowed to park along the
road or highway.
d. If there are farmhouses or other buildings below the airspace
where aviation event acrobatic maneuvers are performed, a
reasonable effort to evacuate such buildings during the
aviation event should be made. If persons re-enter the
buildings, every effort should be made to evacuate them
17. EMERGENCY FACILITIES. Generally, the FAA shall not require much more
in terms of emergency facilities than are normally found at
airports. Off-airport sites can be another matter, and, before
selecting such a site, serious consideration should be given to
emergency facilities at such sites. Every aviation event sponsor is
encouraged to provide emergency medical service even though this
service is not normally necessary. Many sponsors prefer to have the
local fire department's emergency rescue squad, paramedics, or
emergency medical technicians at their show rather than a physician.
Normally, the following rules of thumb are adequate:
a. Physician. Except for events that are a great distance (in a
ground vehicle) from a hospital or medical clinic, an
emergency rescue squad, paramedics, emergency medical
technicians, or a first-aid station can be substituted for a
b. Ambulance. If an emergency rescue squad is provided, an
ambulance should also be provided. If there is a physician in
attendance, any vehicle acceptable to the physician for
emergency transportation is sufficient. Many communities rely
on a sheriffs or local law enforcement officer's vehicle as
their only means of ambulance service. It would be improper
to prohibit use of a similar vehicle to serve as an ambulance
for the event.
c. Firetruck. For the most pan, the only reason for having a
firetruck at an aviation event is for performers' benefit,
not the spectators'. If the performers are willing to accept
a pickup track with hand held fire extinguishers, the FAA
does not demand a sponsor provide an official firetruck with
d. Crash Wagon. Many locations where events are conducted do not
have crash wagons available. If they are not available, the
FAA does not require a sponsor to obtain one from a facility
that might be hundreds of miles away. Again, the presence of
crash wagons benefits the performers, not the public.
e. Aerobatic school activities or aerobatic meets, which are not
aviation events, contests, or races, require a waiver. At
these school activities or meets not advertised as aviation
events, it may not be necessary for the school or sponsor to
provide policing or emergency facilities.
f. Some professional performers do not accept a contract or an
invitation unless liability insurance has been obtained
and/or adequate first aid and emergency medical
transportation are provided. Also, performers might demand
that, for their own protection, a firetruck with trained
personnel be provided.
18. FAA FORM 7711-2. FAA Form 7711-2, Application for Certificate of
Waiver or Authorization (Appendix 1, Figure 16 [Sheet 1
and Sheet 2]), is used when applying for FAA Form 7711-1,
Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (Appendix 1, Figure
a. The local FAA FSDO assists in the preparation of FAA Form
7711-2; however, the preparation and submission of FAA Form
7711-2, as well as all of the necessary supporting
documentation, are the responsibility of the applicant.
b. Depending on the type of aviation event or operation, all
items on the form may not be applicable. In other cases,
additional information may be required.
c. An application for an aviation event must be submitted at
least 45 days before the date of the scheduled event.
d. An application for a parachute jump must be submitted at
least 4 days before the scheduled event.
e. Upon receipt, the FAA FSDO reviews the application for
accuracy. Because the information submitted on FAA Form
7711-2 CANNOT be altered by the FAA FSDO, the FAA
inspector-in-charge will arrange a meeting in order to
correct the application.
f. Upon approval by the FAA FSDO, FAA Form 7711-2 becomes a part
of FAA Form 7711-1 (Appendix 1, Figure 17).
19. SCHEDULE OF EVENTS. The FAA must see a schedule of events in order
to evaluate the application. The schedule of events does not need to
be detailed. However, it should contain at least a general
description of the types of events (e.g., aircraft acrobatic
performances, skydivers, car/plane transfer, etc.), the
identification of the afteraft, and the performers in the sequence
of their appearance.
a. A date must be specified when a schedule of events will be
b. Any demonstrations added to the "Schedule of Events" require
FAA approval. Any additions should be submitted to the FAA
for consideration at the earliest opportunity. Cancellation
of events does not require advance notice to the FAA.
However, press shows or other flight activity occurring
outside the approved dates and times are not considered
additions. A revised or new waiver application will be
SECTION 2. MANAGING THE AVIATION EVENT
25. PRESHOW ACTIVITY.
a. Schedules and priorities have a tendency to get hectic before
the start of even a properly planned event, e.g., performers
asking when and where the briefing is to take place, fire
department personnel trying to find out where their tracks
and ambulances are to be stationed, concession stand
operators looking for electrical outlets, etc. If sufficient,
responsible personnel have not been assigned to handle each
aspect of the numerous functions associated with a successful
event, last-minute problems can appear.
b. Preshow Briefing. One thing that is required of all waivers
for aerial demonstrations is the preshow briefing of all
performers. For performing teams, it is permissible for just
the team leader or other performing member to attend in lieu
of every member. The team leader or other performing member
must then assume the responsibility for briefing each of the
other members of the team. It is imperative that the briefing
cover every aspect of the event. The following list of
subjects shall be covered at every briefing:
(1) Weather brief.
(i) Who gives the briefing, i.e., sponsor, Flight Service
Station specialist, etc.
(ii) Source of information.
(iii) If forecasts are involved, the valid time of
(2) Runway in use.
(3) Taxi instructions.
(4) Performer aircraft parking.
(5) Aviation event radio communication frequencies.
(6) Emergency procedures.
(8) Area avoidance.
(9) Review of provisions on the FAA waiver.
(10) Review of the schedule.
(11) Aircraft departure plan.
(12) Next briefing (if necessary).
(14) Credential check and signing area.
(15) ALL participants sign waiver.
(16) Fueling procedures.
c. Departure from Other Airports. At an airport location where a
performing or fly-by aircraft will depart from a location
other than the airshow site, a telephone briefing must be
conducted with the pilots of those aircraft.
d. Nonairport Location Briefing. If the event is to be conducted
at a nonairport location, special procedures for the briefing
of the performers must be established. The performers must be
informed well in advance of the briefing date, time,
location, and if appropriate, directions to where the
briefing will take place. In addition to the subjects listed
in paragraph 25b, the briefing should cover any subjects
unique to the aviation event location (e.g., desert terrain,
mountainous area, site near water, etc.).
26. AVIATION EVENT PERSONNEL.
a. The actual number of individuals assigned to air and ground
operations duties will vary dependent upon the size of the
event. It may range from 3 or 4 people at a small aviation
event to 50 or more at a large aviation event. It is
important that all tasks be addressed and that no individual
is so burdened that safety is compromised.
b. The aviation event director or a designated representative is
responsible for all aspects of presenting the aviation event.
It is his or her duty to set policy and monitor the conduct
of the aviation event.
c. An independent safety observer should be assigned by and
report directly to the aviation event director. An
independent safety observer should use a checklist to monitor
all air and ground operations activities throughout the
aviation event. During the aviation event, the independent
safety observer should immediately report any unsafe
situation to the aviation event director.
d. It may be appropriate to have an assistant operations
director to divide tasks. However, it is important that the
final authority for air and ground operations authority be
with one individual and not several who are working on
numerous, independent tasks.
e. A primary responsibility of the air and ground operations
director is to complete early and ongoing communication with
the airport manager, FAA FSDO, and Air Traffic Control
representatives. These individuals and representatives must
be aware of aviation event activities and be kept informed.
f. Air and ground operations coordinators are responsible for
accomplishment of all aspects of the specific area to which
they are assigned. The following is a list of coordinators
recommended by the International Council of Air Shows fiCAS):
(1) Act coordinator.
(2) Display aircraft coordinator.
(3) Maintenance support coordinator.
(4) Housing/Transportation coordinator.
(5) Special event coordinator.
(6) Military teams coordinator.
(7) Fly-in coordinator.
(8) Aircraft security coordinator.
(9) Operations assistants.
g. Operations assistants are individuals assigned to the various
coordinators as necessary. For example, four assistants might
be assigned to help park aircraft, or they may be a person
specifically assigned to operate a radio in the tower.
h. All tasks of the air and ground operations staff might be
accomplished by 1 or 2 people until approximately 30 days
before the event. However, as the aviation event date
approaches, the coordination and implementation of tasks is
beyond the capability of one or two people. The appropriate
number of staff coordinators should be identified and
assigned early. This helps to prevent crisis management in
the final days before and during the event weekend.
i. Written records should be required of all coordinators. These
might consist of memos, records of phone calls, completed
forms, records of meetings, checklists, and critiques. The
idea is to have a clear and verifiable means to determine
that all tasks have been completed and to create accurate
records which may be used in future planning.
j. An air and ground operations checklist is a good tool to
guide the staff through its various essential tasks. It
should be adjusted to fit the specific event and built upon
from year to year.
k. Administration is the management of all available resources.
The management of all available resources is best conducted
through effective communication and recordkeeping, both
internally and externally to other departments. Each person
on the air and ground operations team is responsible in some
way for the administrative process.
27. FLYING PARTICIPANTS.
a. Each participant should have operational information
pertinent to the scheduled aviation event before arriving at
the site. It is recommended that a copy of the completed FAA
Form 7711-2, including diagrams, maps, charts, photos, etc.,
be forwarded to participants at the same time the application
is submitted to the FAA. It is recommended that participants
be made aware of aircraft servicing procedures, where and
when the aviation event briefing will take place, the time
and location of any airworthiness inspections, and any
additional information which will help participants be
informed before their arrival. The idea is to impart as much
operational information as practical in advance so that
participants are not deluged at the last minute with
operational procedures and instructions on top of an already
packed schedule of activities.
b. Aircraft rides for hire and media flights are two unique
flight operations which frequently must be addressed by
aviation event organizers. Permission to conduct aircraft
rides for hire is based upon the same criteria that is
applied to any other participant. Thorough planning and
thought should also be given to the times rides are allowed,
the ingress/egress safety of passengers, and positive
security control of the entire aircraft-ride ground
c. Qualified aviation event participants have a keen interest in
the conduct of a safe operation. The primary safety
check-and-balance used by the aviation event organizer is the
establishment of the credentials of each participant and his
or her aircraft, confirmation of the participants' experience
in an aviation event environment, and provision to each
flying participant with the proper information regarding
operations at that specific event.
CHAPTER 3. MILITARY DEMONSTRATION TEAMS
31. SCOPE AND CONTENTS. The guidelines in this chapter apply to military
aircraft, military pilots, and parachute teams specifically
designated to perform missions for the Department of Defense (DOD).
32. APPROVED PROFILES. All performances shall be in accordance with a
planned profile approved by the applicable command. The various
military teams shall provide the FAA with approved maneuver
packages. Send to:
General Aviation Staff, AFS-20
800 Independence Ave., SW
Washington, D.C. 20591
33. DOD SANCTIONED TEAMS. The aerial demonstration teams sanctioned by
the DOD are the U.S. Air Force "Thunderbirds" and the U.S. Navy
34. OTHER MILITARY TEAMS NOT SANCTIONED BY DOD. Other military teams who
frequently perform at public events are the Army and Navy Service
Academy Teams. Operations by the academy teams are maintained by
their respective academy staff. The requirements for a performance
by a DOD nonsanctioned team shall be the same as those for a
35. MILITARY PARACHUTE TEAMS. One DOD-sanctioned military parachute team
is the U.S. Army Golden Knights. The Golden Knights have two
demonstration teams as well as competition teams (e.g., the Black
Team and the Gold Team). Therefore, more than one unit operating
under the designated team name could be jumping at two different
locations. The U.S. Navy "Leap Frogs" are also a DOD-sanctioned
a. The military team determines site acceptability, effect of
wind conditions, and location of exiting the aircraft. This
includes the decision to exit over a congested area and the
determination of authorized passengers during performances.
DOD accepts the responsibility for these technical judgments
with respect to the safety of the jump exhibition.
b. An FAA Form 7711-2 must be submitted to the FAA FSDO having
jurisdiction over the area in which the jump will occur. The
application must contain a statement that the military
command or service has determined that adequate safety
margins exist at the demonstration site for the scheduled
demonstration by the specific team on a specific date.
c. Other military jump teams, such as the U.S. Navy's "Chuting
Stars," are not DOD-sanctioned. They may be allowed to
perform the same jumps as civilians with a USPA Class C or D
license. Determination of site acceptability, wind
conditions, and location of exit from the aircraft (including
exit over congested areas) shall be made by the team leader.
DOD accepts the responsibility for these technical judgments
with respect to safety. An FAA Form 7711-2 shall be submitted
to the FAA FSDO having jurisdiction over the jump area.
36. TEAM QUALIFICATIONS AND TRAINING. The proficiency and ability of the
members of military units are determined by the military command.
Therefore, members of military demonstration teams should not be
questioned about their competency to perform their approved
37. MILITARY PARTICIPATION. DOD requires that a DOD Form 2535, Request
for Military Aviation Participation, be completed for all military
aircraft events not conducted on a military installation. To obtain
a copy of DOD Form 2535, contact the nearest local military
installation. DOD Form 2535 must be completed by the event sponsor
or a designated representative. The sponsor or representative must
forward DOD Form 2535 to the appropriate FAA FSDO for the completion
of the feasibility determination. DOD requires that any event
requiring a waiver of the FAR must have the proposed site classified
as either "satisfactory" or "unsatisfactory" during a feasibility
study of the site conducted by an FAA inspector. A "satisfactory"
classification indicates that following compliance with
requirements, a waiver can be issued. An "unsatisfactory"
classification indicates that the site is not approved for the
requested military operations portion of the aviation event. If the
site is marked "unsatisfactory" by the FAA, the request is not
accepted by DOD.
38. SPECIALIZED TEAMS. The armed forces also sanction specialized teams
which demonstrate the capabilities of one particular aircraft, e.g.,
the U.S. Air Force F-16 Tactical Demonstration Team. These
specialized teams also develop maneuver packages which define the
aerobatic routine to be performed at aviation events. A list of
pilots authorized to conduct the aerobatic routines may be obtained
from the FAA FSDO. Only designated aircraft and pilots may perform
at aviation events in which FAR 91.71 is waived. Demonstrations by
these specialized teams must have command approval. If the local
national guard group wants to perform aerobatics at an aviation
event, a maneuvers package, approved by its command, must be
submitted for review and approval well in advance of the
39. ARRIVAL DEMONSTRATIONS. Military aerial demonstration teams may wish
to put on an arrival show when they fly into the site of a scheduled
aviation event. This normally consists of several passes for visual
familiarity with existing landmarks and the practice of maneuvers
using these landmarks. If a waiver is required for the arrival
demonstration, the details should be worked out during the meeting
with the FAA FSDO inspector-in-charge. The FAA will approve the
arrival show provided it can be safely accomplished.
a. If the arrival show means aerobatic operations over populated
areas, the show shall not be authorized. A good rule of thumb
for determining whether or not an arrival show will be
approved is, "Will everything necessary for the event itself
be taken care of except crowd control and emergency
facilities?" If the answer to this question is NO, then an
arrival show can only consist of normal flight operations
conducted within the FAR.
b. The military often asks to have the team "advance man" accept
the arrival show briefing and relay all necessary information
to the team. If the advance man is a rated aviator serving
with the team, this should be allowed. Briefings with the
team leader, or a representative, must be completed before
the team's arrival at the local show site.
40. FOREIGN MILITARY TEAMS. The considerations and procedures of this
chapter also apply to military teams sanctioned by other countries.
41. DOD FEASIBILITY STUDY. Before a DOD-sanctioned aerial demonstration
team or parachute team accepts an invitation to participate at an
aviation event, DOD requires that the FAA conduct a feasibility
study to determine whether or not the proposed operation can be
a. Sponsor Responsibilities. It is the responsibility of the
event sponsor to obtain and to submit DOD Form 2535 to the
b. Conducting a Feasibility Study. The feasibility study is
normally conducted during the late summer months for an
aviation event that will take place the following show
season. Normally, an on-site inspection is required, as a
minimum, to determine the status of new construction or other
environmental changes in the area.
c. Inspector Requirements. If the inspector believes that the
7.5 series Topographic Quadrangle Map for the area is
necessary to conduct the feasibility study, the inspector
will request the map from the sponsor of the event This may
be necessary at a site where the U.S. Navy "Blue Angels" or
the U.S. Air Force "Thunderbirds"are opening for the first
time or at sites where new construction may affect a
location's suitability for an aviation event.
42. SPECIAL WAIVER PROVISIONS. While the FAA has emphasized the need to
maintain standard aviation event separation requirements at sites
where it can be accomplished, the aerial demonstration teams may
request and receive a special waiver of FAR 91.79(b) and (c) for
nonacrobatic flight at altitudes of 200 feet above the highest
obstacle within a 3 nautical mile distance from the designated show
center along the approved ingress/egress route to and from the
acrobatic maneuvering area. The request for the special waiver by
the Commanding Officer of the military team should be approved
a. An on-site survey of the demonstration area has been
completed by the Commanding Officer of the military
demonstration team or a designated member of the team.
b. A meeting with the Commanding Officer or a designated member
of the team, the waiver applicant or designated
representative, and the appropriate representative of the FAA
FSDO has been held to discuss the potential impact of the
operation on the surrounding area.
c. A letter requesting a special waiver of FAR 91.79(b) and
(c), minimum safe altitudes, from the Commanding Officer or
the designated member of the team is provided to the FAA
FSDO. The letter should specify the altitudes and area over
which the special waiver is required. The letter should also
state that the Commanding Officer or the designated member of
the team, as an authorized representative of the DOD, has
completed an on-site survey of the proposed area of
operation, has discussed the impact of the operation with the
event waiver applicant and the appropriate FAA FSDO
representative, and that the demonstration, as provided to
the FAA in the command maneuvers package, can be safely
conducted in the area. It should further state that the
Commanding Officer will accept full responsibility for the
d. DOD has agreed to approve official demonstration events only
when safety is not derogated. Under no circumstances will
flight at altitudes less than 500 feet above ground level
(AGL) be conducted over designated spectator areas nor shall
aviation event acrobatic maneuvers be conducted over
spectator or congested areas.
e. While the guidelines in this chapter are primarily oriented
to U.S. military precision flight demonstration teams, the
procedures may also be applicable to foreign teams. A Letter
of Authorization for lower than standard minimums for foreign
military teams shall be issued by AFS-20, and only under
f. Any questions a sponsor may have involving a team should be
U.S. Army Parachute Team Operations Officer
Ft. Bragg, NC 28307-0126
U.S. Navy Blue Angels
NAS Pensacola, FL 32508
U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds
Air Show Coordinator
P.O. Box 9733
Nellis AFB, NV 89191
CHAPTER 4. AIR RACE COURSE DESIGN
49. SPONSOR RESPONSIBILITIES. The sponsor has the responsibility to lay
out the course in such a manner so as to prevent hazards to
spectators and other persons on the surface.
50. PERSONNEL. Only persons and vehicles authorized by the race
organization at the event should be permitted beyond the crowd line
during racing operations.
a. Authorized persons include press, crews, and officials at the
b. Authorized persons should clear the runway and move back to
at least the runway "hold short" line 1 minute before launch
for standing starts. No one should be permitted in front of
the front row of aircraft after this time except the starter
c. Pylon crews (except the home pylon flag crews). press, and
vehicles should remain inside the pylon course during races.
Race timing teams are permitted in the area between the crowd
fine and the showfine during racing.
51. TYPICAL RACE COURSES. A diagram of a typical air race site is shown
in Appendix 1, Figure 18. A map of a typical unlimited
race course (Reno, NV) is shown in Appendix 1, Figure 19.
Four examples of suitable air race site diagrams are shown in
Appendix 1, Figure 20. The method of determining the
various distances used are discussed in the following paragraphs.
52. RACE COURSE DESIGN. Closed-course pylon air racing is conducted over
a fixed, short-distance race course, usually located on or adjacent
to an airport. The design of a satisfactory pylon air race course
involves the shape of the course itself and the relationship of that
course to the spectator areas. Both of these depend upon the maximum
speed that may be expected from the racing aircraft and the maximum
"g" loading (acceleration forces) that the race aircraft are
expected to encounter when flying the race course in a normal
manner. Additionally, the maximum height at which race aircraft are
expected to fly during the race becomes a factor.
53. RACE COURSE SPEEDS. The following speeds are typical speeds for each
a. Formula Vee: 160 miles per hour.
b. Sport Biplane: 210 miles per hour.
c. AT-6/SNJ: 225 miles per hour.
d. International Formula One: 250 miles per hour.
e. Unlimited: 450 miles per hour.
f. When additional classes become active, they should be added
to this list with appropriate speeds specified.
g. The maximum "g" loading for a race aircraft flying the course
in a normal manner has been set at 3.5 "g's." Note that in
actual racing, where maneuvering and turbulence are
encountered, momentary "g" loadings in excess of this figure
can be expected.
h. The speed and "g" loadings permit the calculation of the
minimum radius turn that should be permitted in the design of
the race course. The formula for the turn radius for a given
"g" loading and speed is: (Using a value of 3.5 for "g," the
minimum turn radius is shown for each racing class in
Appendix 1, Figure 21.)
R = ___________________________
32.2 x ™(g-1)
R = Minimum turn radius
V = Aircraft speed (ft/sec)
G = Max acceleration (ft/sec")
32.2 = Acceleration of gravity (ft/sec")
i. The angle of the turn (the change in course required to
negotiate the turn) should be planned so that it will avoid
forcing a race aircraft to make the turn too sharply. A
maximum turn angle that does not exceed 65 degrees has been
found to be satisfactory.
54. RACE COURSE SHOWLINE. During the race, aircraft occupy a raceway
around the race course. The edge of this raceway closest to the
spectator area is generally the showline over which no aircraft is
permitted to pass while racing.
a. The raceway width may vary from 150 feet to 500 feet in the
various racing classes to allow aircraft to pass one another.
The critical requirement is that no racing aircraft is
permitted to pass over the showline during the race.
b. The minimum turn radius, the maximum turn angle, and the
raceway width define the limits of a satisfactory race
course. The race course relationship to the spectator areas
(or other populated area) should also be defined. Racing
classes with a maximum speed of 250 miles per hour or less
require a spacing of 500 feet between the spectators and the
showline. The unlimited racing class (or other new classes
with speeds in excess of 250 miles per hour) requires a
spacing of 1,000 feet between the spectator and the showline.
c. An additional safety area is required to ensure that
spectators are protected in the event that debris leaves a
race aircraft. Should this occur while the aircraft is in a
turn, the debris will follow a path tangential to the turn at
the moment it departs the aircraft. The straight line
distance that the debris will fail before hitting the ground
(ignoring air resistance) will depend upon aircraft speed and
aircraft altitude. This distance is called the "scatter
(1) A maximum racing altitude of 250 feet is acceptable for
aircraft weighing in excess of 1,000 pounds (presently,
the AT-6/SNJ and the unlimited class), and a maximum
racing altitude of 150 feet is acceptable for aircraft
weighing 1,000 pounds or less (presently the International
Formula 1, Sport Biplane and Formula Vee Classes). The
length of the scatter distance for each racing class is
shown in Appendix 1, Figure 21.
2 x A
S = V x -----
S = Scatter distance
V = Aircraft speed (ft/sec)
A = Aircraft altitude (AGL)
32.2 = Acceleration of gravity (ft/sec")
(2) The locus of all possible debris impact points from an
aircraft in a turn describes a circle whose radius is the
square root of the sums of the squares of the turn radius
and the scatter distance. This radius is called the
"scatter radius" (Appendix 1, Figure 21).
Sr = (R" + S")
Sr = Scatter radius (feet)
R = Turn radius (feet)
S = Scatter distance (feet)
(3) In order to provide an acceptable margin of safety, the
differences between the turn radius and the scatter radius
are multiplied by a safety factor of 1.5 and added to the
turn radius to define the "safety radius" Appendix 1,
Sfr = R + 1.5 x (Sr - R)
Sfr = Safety radius (feet)
Sr = Scatter radius (feet)
R = Turn radius (feet)
(4) The turn that is critical with respect to the safety
radius is the turn that enters the portion of the race
closest to the spectators. The safety area is constructed
(i) Divide the angle for the rum in question in half.
(ii) Mark off the minimum turn radius for the class of
aircraft racing as shown in Appendix 1,
Figure 21, from the pylon position to a
point on the angle bisector.
(iii) Draw an arc whose radius is the safety radius from the
point located in paragraph 54b. No spectator areas
should be within this arc.
(5) In some cases, it may be expedient to design the race
course around the spectator area. While
spectator-to-showline distances are unchanged, the safety
zone is now outside the spectator area and is no longer a
factor. Roads to this kind of a race course layout must be
completely closed off to the spectator area during the
(6) Race courses are normally flown in a counter-clockwise
direction (left turns). Problem sites may require flying
the course in a clockwise direction (right turns). Other
modifications of the race course, such as changing the
angular relationships of the spectator line (to move the
crowd away from a turn pylon) or lengthening the race
course (to move the mm pylon away from the crowd) may also
CHAPTER 5. BALLOON MEETS AND BALLOON COMPETITIONS
59. PUBLIC SAFETY. Just as with other aviation events, the FAA has the
responsibility to ensure public safety during the balloon meets or
60. BALLOON OPERATIONS. Manned free balloon flight competitions could
result in operations at horizontal and vertical distances less than
those required by FAR 91.79(b) and (c).
a. The ground track of balloons is accomplished solely by
varying altitude to take advantage of different wind
directions and velocities. The greatest diversity in the wind
directions normally occurs in the first 2,000 to 3,000 feet
above the surface.
b. Balloon pilots use these changes in wind direction and
velocity to demonstrate their navigational skills during
competitions by maneuvering the balloon to a predetermined
point on the ground. These operations can occur at minimum
altitudes less than those prescribed in FAR 91.79(b) and (c)
when appropriate limitations are developed to protect the
public and the participants.
61. DESCRIPTION AND TERMINOLOGY. Appendix 1, Figure 22, is a
typical hot air balloon. Appendix 1, Figure 23, is terminology
generally associated with balloons.
62. BALLOON MEETS. Balloon meets and races are held throughout the
country. As ballooning grows, competitive tasks have been refined
and standardized. Currently, the FAA's concern is to ensure
applicable requirements are met and safety regulations are complied
with so that neither members of the public nor ballooning
participants are endangered.
a. Target areas must be under the control of the event
officials. These officials must have adequate manpower to
maintain crowd control. Portable "bull horns" or public
address systems are an adequate means for controlling crowd
movements or for directing balloonists away from the target
area in an emergency.
b. Balloon landings are not normally permitted closer than 1,500
feet from the target or goal, although in certain instances.
event officials may announce a reduction of this distance to
500 feet for safety considerations. Only members of official
recovery crews may be present at the landing site.
c. For events sanctioned by the various ballooning
organizations, organizers submit a set of competition rules
when they apply for a waiver. This is not a regulatory
requirement but should be encouraged for the sake of
conformity and safety improvement.
63. TYPES OF COMPETITIVE TASKS. Since wind is the only force that moves
a balloon laterally over the ground, competitive tasks are basically
exercises in navigation according to wind direction. The winner of a
particular task is the balloonist who can best take advantage of
changes in wind direction, by ascending and descending, to
accomplish the task. Sponsors of ballooning events are encouraged to
use "launch directors" for competitive tasks to control staggered
launch times and provide additional safety for multiple launches.
The Balloon Federation of America (BFA) has provided information on
some typical balloon competition tasks which may be conducted at
balloon meets. A typical event would task the balloonist to ascend
and move from one location to another and drop one or more markers
as close to a goal, target, or objective as possible. The BFA has a
recommended procedure which establishes minimum distances between
target drop marker areas and balloon descent and landing areas. That
distance is usually at least 1,500 feet. An immediate landing after
an event is at the pilot's discretion.
a. Pilot Declared Goal (PDG). In this event, balloonists must
define their goals or targets by description and by map
reference. The goals are declared in writing and given to a
time-keeper. Each pilot flies from the designated launch area
and attempts to drop a marker as close as possible to the
declared goal. The resultant distance from the declared goal
to the marker is then measured. The shortest distance wins.
Descent and landing after dropping the marker should be at
least 1,500 feet from the goal.
b. Judge Declared Goal (JDG). Each pilot ascends from the
designated launch area and attempts to drop a marker as close
as possible to a goal set by the officials. The resultant
distance from the JDG to the marker is then measured. Again,
the shortest distance wins. Descent and landing after
dropping the marker should be at least 1,500 feet away from
c. Multiple Judge Declared Goal (MJDG). Each pilot flies from
the launch area and chooses one of a number of goals set by
the officials. The pilot attempts to drop a marker near the
goal chosen. The resultant distance from the marker to the
goal is measured and the shortest distance wins. Descent and
landing after dropping the marker should be at least 1,500
feet away from the goal.
d. Elbow (ELBO). In this event, the balloon launch area is
situated at the center of two concentric circles. Each
balloonist ascends from the launch area and travels in any
desired direction. After traveling to a pilot selected point
somewhere between the inner and outer circle, a marker is
dropped. The takeoff axis is hereby established as the
direction from the takeoff point to the point at which the
first marker is dropped. Hereafter, each balloonist attempts
to achieve a 180 change in direction from the takeoff axis.
The greatest change of flight direction with the smallest
angle of divergence is best. After traveling at least 5,000
feet from the first marker (but still within the outer
circle), a second marker is dropped. The angle of divergence
is then measured in degrees, relative to the takeoff axis.
e. Hare and Hound (HNH). The lead balloon, "the hare," takes off
several minutes before the rest of the balloons and drops a
marker at a designated point. The hare balloon deflates and
is removed from the landing area. The marker dropped by the
hare balloon becomes the target for the later launched
balloons, "the hounds." The hounds try to drop markers as
close as possible to the target placed on the ground by the
hare balloon. After dropping the marker from each hound
balloon, landing is at the pilot's discretion but should be
more than 1,500 feet from the target.
f. Convergent Navigational Task (CNT). Officials establish a
goal, but balloonists find their own launch areas for the
attempt to reach the goal. The boundary of the launch area
declared by the pilot is the physical boundary of a field or
a circle with a 300-foot radius from the inflation point,
whichever is less. The officials place a target at the goal
30 minutes before the launch period begins. Each pilot
launches and attempts to navigate to the target, and drops a
marker. The result is the distance from the target to the
marker. The shortest distance wins. After dropping the marker
from each hound balloon, descent and landing is at the
pilot's discretion but should be more than 1,500 feet from
g. Fly On Task (FOT). The pilot declares a goal to fly to after
dropping a marker in another task.
h. Gordon Bennett Memorial (GBM). The competitors maneuver their
balloons a prescribed distance from a target on the ground
(scoring area). Through use of the winds, they attempt to
maneuver back to the scoring area and drop markers on the
target. Standard BFA landing procedures should be observed.
i. Watership Down. This is a two-part task. Pilots find their
own launch sites and fly to a target established by the
officials. At a specified time before the launch, a hare
balloon takes off adjacent to the target established by the
officials, then flies on and drops a marker at a designated
point. This marker becomes the second target. The hare
balloon deflates, and the envelope remains flattened on the
ground to serve as a guide to the second target area. Each
competing pilot drops a marker as close as possible to the
first target (the launch site of the hare balloon). Pilots
then fly on to drop a second marker as close as possible to
the target marker placed by the hare balloon.
j. Key Grab. One of the most popular events for both the
participants and the spectators is the key grab. This event
usually has a target (generally a tall pole with the keys to
a new automobile affixed to the top) in a centralized
location. The balloonist must depart from a predetermined
distance from the target. The object of the event is to
maneuver the balloons (one-by-one) over the target by
altitude changes so the pilot can attempt to grab the keys as
the balloon goes by the pole. The area around the pole must
be completely clear of spectators and under the control of
the event officials.
64. BALLOON COMPETITION EVENT WAIVERS. To be eligible for a waiver of
FAR 91.79(b) and (c), the applicant must prepare and keep current
an operations manual that has been approved by the FAA FSDO having
jurisdiction over the proposed balloon competition. The contents of
the manual are the basis for the issuance of the waiver. The
applicant and the participants must comply with the manual contents
a. A waiver of FAR 91.79(b) and (c) for organized free
balloon competitions can be issued based on submission of a
proper application which contains the proposed operations and
contents of the Organized Manned Free Balloon Competition
b. FAR 91.79 shall be waived only to the extent necessary to
accommodate the event, and then only if the waiver allows an
acceptable level of safety. Evaluation of the site determines
the arial separation distances to be used for a specific
event; however, the following minimum distances and special
provisions must be observed:
(1) FAR 91.79(b) may be waived to allow flight over a
congested area of a city, town, or settlement at an
altitude of no less than 500 feet above the highest
obstacle within a horizontal radius of 500 feet of the
balloon. This section of the regulation may only be waived
within a specified maximum distance from the designated
launch sites and/or target areas. This designated area
must be determined by the sponsor and FAA, and must be
clearly delineated in the sponsor's manual before the
event. (A scaled map, drawing, and/or aerial photographs
should be in the sponsor's manual before the event.) The
designated area should be the minimum area necessary to
accommodate the specific events planned and should be
consistent with the ability of the sponsor to control
operations. In addition, if the target area is so small
that a normal descent (200 to 300 feet per minute) cannot
be made to the target, then a waiver of FAR 91.79(b)
should not be issued.
(2) FAR 91.79(b) may also be waived to allow flight over,
but no less than 75 feet from, any open-air assembly of
persons (designated spectator area) under the direct
control of the sponsor who has been issued the waiver. The
balloon must have attained a state of altitude equilibrium
at this 75-foot minimum altitude and not be descending
while crossing over the designated spectator area.
(3) FAR 91.79(c) may be waived to allow flight over open
water or sparsely populated areas no closer than 200 feet
to any person, vessel, vehicle, or structure.
(4) The target area around the "key grab" event must be
totally clear of spectators and under the control of the
event officials. These officials must have adequate
manpower to maintain crowd control. Sponsors should either
have portable "bull horns" or a public address system to
control the crowd movements verbally or to direct the
balloonist away from the target area in the event of an
emergency. If these precautions are observed, then a
waiver of FAR 91.79(c) can be issued to allow operations
closer than 500 feet to the crowd. The event sponsor must
establish procedures to ensure that the balloonists will
abort the key grab attempt when it becomes apparent that
the balloons' ground tracks will not be within the
operating area or when a realistic chance for the key is
no longer possible. The balloon landing areas must be
segregated from the spectators. Only designated members of
the recovery crews can be present to assist the balloonist
with recovery. All of these requirements must be briefed
to all participants before the operations.
65. BALLOON COMPETITION MANUAL. The Organized Manned Free Balloon
Competition Manual must incorporate FAR 91.79(b) and (c)
limitations, as appropriate, to the specific event in a form and
manner acceptable to the FAA and the sponsor. The sponsor should
reflect the manner of operations under the event waiver as clearly
as possible in the manual. The operations manual shall include a
list and description of all events, tasks, and races to be included
in the waiver. The inspector should encourage the sponsor to place
the aircraft operating procedures and other safety-related
procedures in a separate section of the manual, which is subject to
review and approval by the FAA.
66. BALLOON CREWMEMBERS. Only crewmembers may be carried on board any
balloon operating under the waiver issued to the sponsor. All
crewmembers must be designated by the pilot in command and have been
given appropriate training in the conduct of their duties. These
designated crewmembers must sign on the waiver form that they have
been briefed, that they understand the limitations of the waiver
under which they are operating, and that they are designated
crewmembers for the purpose of the specific flight under the waiver.
The pilot in command of each balloon using additional crewmembers is
responsible for obtaining and keeping such statements.
67. MAXIMUM WINDSPEED. The maximum windspeed for launch and at the
target zones is mutually determined by the sponsor and the FAA.
These limitations shall be placed in the operations manual. The
maximum windspeed limitations should be determined considering the
local terrain conditions and the competency of the participating
airmen. The actual means of determining the windspeed must be
mutually agreeable to the FAA and the sponsor. The inspector and/or
the sponsor may wish to consider moving the designated spectator
area barriers if the windspeed increases.
68. DESIGNATED SPECTATOR AREA. The designated spectator area should be
maintained at a minimum radius of 200 feet away from the designated
or declared goal/target. This 200-foot minimum target area should
remain sterile except for officially designated event personnel.
69. DURATION OF WAIVER. No operations shall be conducted under this
waiver except during the period from sunrise to sunset and during
Visual Flight Rules conditions as specified in FAR 91.105.
70. LETTERS OF AGREEMENT. A letter of agreement clearly detailing all
responsibilities provides an excellent means of control. This means
of control has been successfully used in various cases. For example,
the sponsor of the balloon meet outlines the responsibilities he or
she assumes, such as crowd control, notification, communication,
briefing of participating pilots, etc., in the manual. Air Traffic
identifies the services they provide, such as up-to-date weather, a
portable tower, or a direct communication line with the tower.
71. CARRIAGE OF PASSENGERS FOR HIRE. Under the provisions of FAR
135.1(b)(7), persons engaged in carrying passengers for hire using
balloons are not subject to FAR Part 135.
72. MANUAL APPROVAL. The aircraft operating and other safety-related
procedures contained in the balloon competition manual must be
approved by the inspector assigned to evaluate it. The approved
procedures must be incorporated into the waiver.
CHAPTER 6. PARACHUTING AND PARACHUTISTS
77. CERTIFICATE OF AUTHORIZATION. While many of the activities
associated with aviation events frequently require waivers,
parachuting or skydiving demonstration jumps do not require waivers.
As provided for in FAR Part 105, some of these jumps do require an
FAA Form 7711-1, Certificate of Waiver or Authorization. FAR
105.15 is applicable to jumps over or into congested areas or
open-air assemblies of persons. FAR 105.19 is applicable to jumps
in or into control zones with functioning control towers. FAA Form
7711-1 is required for any jump over or into a congested area.
a. The drift-over provision of FAR 105.15 permits a jumper to
exit an aircraft over something other than a congested area,
and with a fully-deployed parachute, drift over a congested
area or open-air assembly of persons, and land in an open
area. Under these circumstances an FAA Form 7711-1 is not
b. The key to determine if an authorization is required are the
words "over or into." In other words, the drift-over
provision does not permit any jump that results in a landing
into a congested area or open-air assembly of persons unless
the parachutist has obtained an FAA Form 7711-1.
78. PARACHUTE ASSOCIATIONS/ORGANIZATIONS. Parachutists who are not
members of a recognized parachute organization or the participating
branch of a national aero club and who wish to participate in a
demonstration or exhibition jump over or into a congested area must
present satisfactory evidence of the necessary experience,
knowledge, and skill equivalent to that required by the United
States Parachute Association (USPA).
a. If the parachutist is unable to provide this information, the
FAA inspector-in-charge may require a demonstration jump (not
over a congested area) as a prerequisite before approving the
b. The USPA, located at 1440 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314,
telephone (703) 836-3495, has adopted its own safety rules
and licensing standards for parachutists, instructors, and
jumpmasters. The USPA has pledged to implement a policy of
self-policing to assist the FAA in avoiding conflicts with
other airspace users and to maintain a high level of safety.
Toward this end, the USPA has supplied every FAA FSDO with a
brochure of its rules and safety programs and have offered
their assistance anytime the FAA encounters problems with a
particular club or has questions regarding parachuting.
79. PARACHUTIST'S COMPETENCE. The competence of parachutists is
extremely important when evaluating the suitability of a landing
a. Holders of USPA Class C and D licenses have proven themselves
to be highly skilled. Anyone holding such a license who has
actively participated in the sport within the last 12 months
should be competent to participate in any jump where the
separation criteria meets or exceeds that established in a
Level One landing area. (See paragraph 80a.)
b. Persons holding a USPA Class D license with a current
exhibition (Pro) rating have demonstrated the additional
skills that are necessary to permit exhibition demonstrations
in accordance with the separation criteria established in a
Level Two landing area. (See paragraph 80b.)
c. USPA exhibition ratings are issued to members who have a
Class D license and who have accomplished 10 successive jumps
into a 10-meter (32-foot) diameter target area in accordance
with the following criteria:
(1) All landings must be made standing Up.
(2) The size of the canopy used during the exhibition
certification determines the canopy limitation allowed in
actual demonstration jumps (i.e., smallest canopy
(3) Demonstration jumps must be witnessed by either a safety
and training advisor (SATO) or by an instructor/examiner
(I/E), and at least two other spectators.
(4) USPA issues the added exhibition rating with an expiration
date 12 months from the certification date. Members are
renewed on the basis of continued demonstration of the
original certification requirements.
80. LANDING AREAS. USPA divides landing areas into two distinct
categories, depending on the demonstrated competency of the
a. Level One. Parachutists who hold a USPA Class C or D license
must select a landing area that permits the jumper to land no
closer than 50 feet from any spectator and does not involve
passing over persons on the surface at an altitude of less
than 250 feet.
b. Level Two. Parachutists who hold a USPA Class D license with
an exhibition (Pro) rating and who certify that they shall
use a steerable square main and reserve canopy, shall be
permitted to exit over or into a congested area. The selected
landing area must permit the jumper to land no closer than 15
feet from any spectator and does not involve passing over
persons on the surface at an altitude of less than 50 feet.
81. ALTERNATE LANDING AREAS. Regardless of the experience of the
parachutists, "runoffs" or "escape areas" should be considered.
Small target areas may be acceptable when a suitable alternate
landing area is available in the event of unexpected conditions.
CHAPTER 7. WAIVER PROVISIONS
87. GENERAL PROVISIONS.
a. Each FAA Form 7711-1, Certificate of Waiver or Authorization,
shall include general and special provisions developed by the
issuing FAA FSDO. Many safety provisions are general in
nature and are applicable to all aviation events. The FAA
FSDO will tailor the general and special provisions to
accommodate the sponsor's needs.
b. Provisions that appear on the waiver shall be restricted to
protective measures, controls, or requirements that are not
otherwise specified by the FAR.
c. Regulatory requirements (not waived) shall not be included as
d. A sample of general provisions can be found in Appendix 2.
88. SPECIAL PROVISIONS. Special provisions are conditions, requirements,
or limitations necessary to protect persons and property on the
surface and other users of the national airspace system.
a. Ensuring Safety. The special provisions of FAA Form 7711-1
ensure that the aviation event can be conducted without an
adverse effect on safety. Every airshow waiver shall contain
special provisions to ensure adequate public and non-airshow
traffic safety. There may be a wide variation in the type of
special provisions called for.
b. Use of Special Provisions. Some events require extensive and
highly detailed special provisions, whereas others can be
fairly simple. In addition to variation among events, local
conditions have much to do with what special provisions are
(1) Special provisions shall pertain to protective measures
and control requirements which are not specifically
covered by the FAR.
(2) It may be necessary to increase one regulatory minimum in
order to authorize safe deviation from another.
(3) In order to permit aerobatic flight in a control zone or
near a busy airport, it might be necessary to increase the
minimum visibility requirement to 5 miles.
c. Responsibility for compliance with the terms of the waiver
issued for aerobatic practice areas rests with the pilot. In
cases where the waiver is issued for members of an
organization, a designated individual responsible for
overseeing compliance with the terms of the waiver should be
identified to the FAA.
d. A sample of special provisions can be found in Appendix 3.
APPENDIX 1. FIGURES
FIGURES HAVE BEEN INTENTIONALLY OMITTED ON THIS BBS.
Sample of FAA Form 8710-7, Statement of Aerobatic Competency
Category I Showline - Optimum Layout
Category I Showline - Moved Closer To Primary Spectator Area
Category I Showline - Moved Closer To Secondary Spectator Area
Category II Showline
Category III Showline
Aerobatic Maneuvers After Takeoff (I)
Aerobatic Maneuvers After Takeoff (II)
Takeoff and Landing Area - Normal Landing Speed> 100 Knots and "Flying
Takeoff and Landing Area - Normal Landing Speed < 100 Knots.
Sailplane/Airplane Takeoff Area (I)
Sailplane/Airplane Takeoff Area (II)
Instructions for Completion of FAA Form 7711-2
1. PREPARING FAA FORM 7711-2. Items from the form are discussed below
for purposes of clarity and uniformity of its use.
a. Items 1 and 2, Name of Organization/Name of Responsible
Person. If you are a representative of an organization, then
the organization's name should appear in Item 1 and your
name, as the organization's representative, for application
purposes should appear in Item 2. If you are not representing
an organization, the term N/A should be entered in Item 1 and
the applicant's name in Item 2.
b. Item 3, Permanent Mailing Address. Self-explanatory.
c. Item 4, FAR Section and Number to be Waived.
(1) All applicable FAR sections and numbers must be listed in
this item. If you are unsure which FAR sections have to be
waived, consult the FSDO for guidance before filling out
(2) An application for a parachuting operation should state
that authorization is requested in accordance with FAR
105.15 or 105.19.
d. Item 5, Detailed Description of Proposed Operation. It is
sufficient to use the terms "airshow," "aerobatic contest,"
"aerobatic practice area," "parachute demonstration jump," or
"aft race" to describe the event.
e. Item 6, Area of Operation. The description must depict the
flight maneuvering area as a cubic or cylindrical cell of
airspace, e.g., "a rectangle bounded by the N/S runway (or
other definable geographical reference) and a point 5,000
feet east from the surface to 7,000 feet." At off-airport
sites, the boundaries should be described using easily
identifiable landmarks. Current, properly marked charts,
maps, drawings, or photographs of the area of operation (not
required for parachute demonstration jumps at aviation
events) must accompany the application. The FAA recommends
that sponsors use a 7.5 series Topographic Quadrangle Map,
published by the U.S. Geological Survey (Scale 1:24,000). Any
depiction submitted must include scale indications of the
flight lines, showlines, race courses, the location of the
aviation event control point, police dispatch, ambulance, and
firefighting equipment. Photographs and to-scale diagrams may
be submitted as supplemental material to aid in the FAA's
evaluation of a particular site. All flight operations
conducted under the waiver shall be limited to the area
defined in the FAA-approved application.
f. Item 7, Time Period. List the dates requested for the
aviation event and for any press previews that are scheduled.
Alternate event dates should also be included in this item.
g. Item 8, Aircraft Make and Model. If the type of aircraft
and/or the names of the pilots are not known at the time the
application is submitted, the FAA shall accept the
application with a statement, "list of aircraft and/or
pilot's names will be furnished on [date.]" Once the list has
been supplied, last-minute Substitutions (parachutists or
pilots) must show appropriate qualifications to the FAA
inspector-in-charge at the aviation event before they are
allowed to perform.
h. Item 9, Sponsorship. Self-explanatory.
i. Item 10, Permanent Mailing Address of Sponsor.
j. Item 11, Policing. Furnish a detailed explanation of how
crowd control will be handled.
k. Item 12, Emergency Facilities.
(1) Place an "X" in the appropriate box or boxes.
(2) Other: A sponsor seldom needs to fill in this block.
However, the following is an example of how the "Other"
block might prove useful. In one event, the sponsor had a
helicopter and pilot continually ready for emergency
transportation of spectators or performers who might be
injured on the airport or who may become ill during the
event. Additionally, a military-trained firefighter and a
medic were standing by the helicopter with extinguishers
in case an aircraft had an accident anywhere in the
operating area. In this particular case, by describing
this "Other" emergency facility, the applicant could have
been relieved of having to show anything in the preceding
l. Item 13, Air Traffic Control. Describe the method or methods
of radio communication frequencies and/or the prearranged
ground-to-air signals to be used during the aviation event. A
description of the ground-to-air recall signal must also be
m. Item 14, Schedule of Events. List the performers in the order
that they will appear. (See paragraph 19 this AC for more
n. Item 15, Certification. The applicant must sign in this block
and on each page of the application.
Sample FAA Form 7711-2, Application for Certificate of Waiver or
Authorization (Front) - continued
Sample FAA Form 7711-2, Application for Certificate of Waiver or
Authorization (Reverse) - Continued
Sample FAA Form 7711-1, Certificate of Waiver or Authorization
Typical Air Race Site
Reno, NV, Race Course
Examples of Air Race Courses
Pylon Air Racing (Race Course Design Parameters)
Formula Sport AT-6/ Int'l
Vee Biplane SNJ Formula 1
1. Maximum Speed (mph) 160.0 210.0 225.0 250.0
2. Maximum Speed (ft/sec) 234.0 308.0 330.0 336.7
3. Minimum Tunting Radius 509.9 878.4 1008.3 1244.8
(R) for 3.5g mm (ft)
4. Scatter Distance (S) --- --- 1300.4 ---
(ft) 250 altitude
150 altitude 716.4 940.1 --- 1119.3
5. Scatter Radius (ft) 878.9 1286.6 1645.1 1674.0
(St) for minimum
6. Safety Radius (ft) 1063.4 1490.7 1964.1 1888.6
(Sfr) for minimum
7. Crowd-to-Showline (ft) 500.0 500.0 500.0 500.0
Typical Hot Air Balloon
BLAST VALVE A high pressure fuel valve either full on or full off.
BULK TANK Used for fuel storage and transfer to supply tanks.
DEFLATION PORT Refers to the rip panel or envelope section removed
for envelope deflation.
DRAG ROPE A heavy rope tapered and weighted at one end which is
used as recoverable ballast.
DROP LINE A handling line carried in the basket to allow
assistance by the ground crew when required.
ENVELOPE The rubberized fabric or plastic material enclosing
the lifting source.
EQUILIBRIUM That point when lift equals weight and the balloon is
neither climbing nor descending.
FALSE LIFT Refers to the venturi effect of the wind that causes
the balloon to lift before true equilibrium is reached.
FUEL Generally propane.
GORE Series of panels running from apex to mouth.
LOAD TAPES Vertical or horizontal stress bearing nylon webbing.
MANEUVERING VENT The envelope section that can be opened and closed to
control the ascent or descent.
PANEL A fabric section sewn as part of a gore.
PARACHUTE TOP A combination deflation port and maneuvering vent that
is self-sealing when opened in flight.
SKIN TEMPERATURE The temperature of the fabric envelope.
STEP CLIMB A series of climbs and level-offs in ascent or
SUPER HEAT The temperature of the gas inside the envelope
exceeding the temperature of the ambient air outside the envelope.
TETHERED Refers to a balloon on one or more tether lines.
APPENDIX 2. GENERAL PROVISIONS
a. The bolder of the FAA Form 7711-1, Certificate of Waiver or
Authorization, shall retain sole responsibility for
safeguarding persons and property on the surface and shall
inform the issuing FAA office in writing of the person named
to ensure overall safety of the event.
b. The holder of the FAA Form 7711-1 shall ensure that
participants are thoroughly briefed on special field rules,
manner and order of events, and are available for briefing on
the provisions of the waiver before beginning the activities.
No person may participate in any event unless that person has
received a briefing on the provisions of the waivers.
c. The holder shall notify the FAA Flight Service Station of the
date, time, place, areas, altitudes, nature of the activity,
and the duration of the operations and request that a Notice
to Airmen (NOTAM) be issued. Such action shall be
accomplished at least 48 hours before the event.
d. All civil aircraft and pilots participating in the
demonstration shall be available for FAA inspection before
the scheduled event.
e. For civilian aircraft, only required flight crewmembers
(specified in aircraft operating limitations) or those
persons actively participating in the demonstration
(wingwalkers and stunt persons, etc.) will be carried on any
aircraft engaged in demonstrations authorized by this waiver.
f. A control point shall be established from which the holder,
or his or her representative, shall direct the demonstration
and be continuously available to the FAA and the person
designated as responsible for the overall safety of the
g. A showline (man-made or natural) clearly visible to the
performers/pilots shall be provided to assist them in
compliance with the approved distances from the spectator
h. Airplanes which operate at speeds of less than 156 knots
shall perform no closer than 500 feet horizontally from a
i. Airplanes which operate at speeds of more than 156 knots, but
less than 245 knots, shall perform no closer than (safety
line distances will be inserted by the FAA FSDO) horizontally
from a spectator area. The showline is (geographic
description, i.e., runway edge, runway centerline, etc., will
be inserted by the FAA FSDO).
j. Airplanes which operate at speeds of more than 245 knots, and
turbojet airplanes, shall perform no closer than (safety line
distances will be inserted by the FAA FSDO) horizontally from
a spectator area. The showline is (the FAA FSDO will place
geographic description in this space).
k. Helicopters may perform acrobatic maneuvers no closer than
1,000 feet horizontally from a spectator area. These
maneuvers are described as a 90 pitch down, split "S," loop,
and barrel roll. Performers proposing to use these maneuvers
in an airshow must produce evidence of approval by AFS-20.
l. Helicopters may perform agility maneuvers no closer than 500
feet horizontally from a spectator area. These maneuvers are
described as pedal turns, sideward and rearward flight
maneuvers, out-of-ground effect hovering, and turns not
exceeding 90 of bank.
m. Helicopters performing acrobatic maneuvers shall have a valid
and current special airworthiness certificate issued in the
experimental category for the purpose of exhibition. Nothing
contained in these general provisions shall contravene any
operating or special limitation issued as a pan of that
special airworthiness certificate.
n. All aircraft shall operate at subsonic speed (less than the
speed of sound).
o. Adequate communications capability (oral or visual) must be
provided to advise spectators and participants that the
aerial demonstration has been halted or cancelled, or to
otherwise communicate to maintain a safe operation.
p. A physical barrier and adequate policing shall be provided to
confine the spectators to designated areas. The number of
personnel involved in crowd control will depend on the type
of barrier. (More people will be required for a rope barrier
than for a snow fence.)
q. The demonstration may be halted when unauthorized persons,
vehicles, or aircraft enter the operations area, or for any
other reason in the interest of safety. Only those persons
necessary to support the operation should be authorized in
the operating area. The holder of the FAA Form 7711-1 assumes
responsibility for persons that enter the operations area.
r. The FAA has the authority to cancel or delete any or all acts
or events if, in its opinion, the safety of persons or
property on the ground or in the air is in jeopardy, or there
is a contravention of the terms of the waiver.
s. Aircraft engines shall not be started and aircraft will not
be taxied in designated spectator areas or static display
areas unless adequate measures are taken to protect the
spectators. Areas where engines, propellers, or rotors will
be turning must be at least 100 feet from the spectator areas
unless they are protected by a barrier that will prevent
entry by unauthorized personnel.
t. Persons or aircraft not appearing on the FAA Form 7711-2, and
approved on the FAA Form 7711-1, may not participate without
specific approval by the FAA.
u. In the event of an accident considered to be the result of a
course deficiency or racing procedure, flight operations will
be cancelled until the deficiency has been corrected and
accepted by the person designated responsible for the overall
safety of the event.
APPENDIX 3. SPECIAL PROVISIONS
a. Ceiling, visibility, and wind limitations shall be
appropriate to the type of exhibitions involved.
b. Aerobatic maneuvers may not be directed toward any spectator
area. Certain related maneuvers and procedures, however, may
be authorized as outlined below:
(1) Rolling 360 turns with a segment toward the spectator
area, but beyond the required separation from the
(2) "Approved maneuvers" that are completed beyond a point
that the rollout and trajectory of the aircraft will not
endanger the spectators. "Approved maneuvers" are
maneuvers that have been approved by AFS-20 for a specific
performer. Upon request from the FAA, performers are
required to present evidence of the approval.
(3) For military demonstration teams, approved maneuvers may
include level or climbing nonaerobatic flight over
designated spectator areas; however, in no case shall the
altitude of the aircraft be less than 500 feet Above
Ground Level (AGL) over a designated spectator area. All
other performers must be at 1,000 feet AGL, or above, over
designated spectator areas unless they hold approval for
the maneuver from AFS-20.
(4) Maneuvers on an oblique fine that pass 500, 1,000, or
1,500 feet, as appropriate, to either side of a spectator
c. No aerobatic demonstrations shall be authorized or scheduled
during such time as a suspension of airport traffic or
diversion of other aircraft traffic will cause a hardship to
scheduled air carrier operations.
d. The "arrival demonstration" is not authorized unless an
"advance member" of the demonstration team has been briefed
on the showline and pertinent special provisions contained in
FAA Form 7711-1, Certificate of Waiver or Authorization, and
this information has been relayed to the team leader before
the arrival demonstration.
e. The following are some examples of facilities that could be
required dependent upon the type of aviation event. They must
be readily available at the demonstration site.
(1) Ambulance (air and/or ground).
(3) Crash Wagon.
(5) Other equivalent emergency equipment.
f. If the event is conducted at an airport, a closed field
signal in the form of a large "X," colored aviation yellow,
and readily visible from 3,000 feet above the surface must be
displayed on the landing areas when the aerial demonstration
is in progress. The closed field signal is necessary at most
uncontrolled airports, but may not be required at FAA
g. The holder of the FAA Form 7711-1 shall ensure that roads
under the specified flight maneuvering area are devoid of
vehicular traffic or spectators.
h. Racing flight operations are not authorized when the reported
(or observed) flight visibility is less than 3 miles. This
value should be adjusted upward for racing speeds above 300
i. In the event of an accident considered to be the result of a
course deficiency or racing procedures, flight operations
will be cancelled until the deficiency has been corrected and
accepted by the person designated responsible for the overall
safety of the event.
j. Rotorcraft takeoff and landing areas must be protected in a
manner that will prevent unauthorized persons from entering
the helipad area. The pads should be located so the aircraft
will not pass over spectators during takeoff or landing.
k. Spectator areas may not be located closer than 500 feet from
any takeoff and landing runway/area when the normal landing
speed (1.3 Vso)of any aircraft is 100 knots or more; 200 feet
if speed is less than 100 knots. Airshow acts that involve
excessive maneuvering immediately after takeoff, or just
before landing, must also be separated from the spectator
area by at least 500 feet.
SPECIAL PROVISIONS FOR AEROBATIC COMPETITION/
a. This waiver is not valid if the visibility is less than
(insert distance) or the ceiling is less than (insert ceiling
value). Aerobatic maneuvers shall be conducted at least 1,000
feet below the ceiling.
b. Each pilot using the aerobatic practice area shall notify
(name of Air Traffic facility) by telephone (insert number)
at least 30 minutes before operation begins, and again when
the flight activity is completed.
c. Aerobatic flight shall be conducted only between the hours of
official sunrise and sunset.
d. Each pilot using the aerobatic practice area must be briefed
by the holder of FAA Form 7711-1 before use on the confines
of the waived space and the terms of the waiver.
e. The holder of FAA Form 7711-1 shall advise the (Name of FSS)
flight Service Station before commencing aerobatic flight
operations of the duration of the activity and request that a
Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) be issued.
f. The holder of FAA Form 7711-1 is responsible for the conduct
of all aerobatic operations within the operating area. The
certificate holder shall also maintain a record of pilots and
aircraft using the acrobatic practice area, indicating name,
certificate type and number, and aircraft type and
g. Before performing any aerobatic sequence, level cleaning
turns to the left and to the right shall be made and the area
scanned thoroughly. Every reasonable action shall be taken 10
assure that the area is clear before executing any aerobatic
h. The holder of FAA Form 7711-1 has the responsibility to halt
or cancel activity if at anytime the safety of persons or
property on the ground or in the air is in jeopardy, or if
there is a contravention of the terms or conditions of the
waiver. The pilot is responsible for halting operations if
unauthorized persons enter the operating area.
i. For waivers involving aerobatic practice areas, the holder of
the FAA Form 7711-1 must obtain, and hold on a continuing
basis throughout the duration of this waiver, the permission
of the airport manager and the property owner over which
aerobatic flights are being conducted.
j. Aerobatics conducted under the provisions of this waiver are
limited to those aircraft and pilots approved by appointed
officials named by the applicant on FAA Form 7711-2. Such
approving officials shall assure that:
(1) Each aircraft using the area is airworthy and properly
(2) Pilots using the area are properly certificated and
briefed on the confines of the waived airspace and terms
of the waiver.
k. Mr/Ms.____________ shall ensure that participants are
thoroughly briefed on the provisions of this waiver.
SPECIAL PROVISIONS FOR PARACHUTE DEMONSTRATION JUMPS
a. For jumps into congested areas, two-way radio communication
between the aircraft airlifting the parachutists and the
landing area shall be continuously maintained for all jumps.
b. Provisions shall be made by the holder of FAA Form 7711-1 to
keep spectators out of the landing area.
c. The parachute jump shall not be conducted when the ceiling is
less than 2,500 feet and the visibility less than 5 miles.
d. Use the appropriate landing area provision based on the
qualifications of the jumper. Landing areas will be divided
into two distinct categories:
(1) Parachutists who hold a USPA Class C or D license, or are
members of a DOD-sanctioned parachute demonstration team,
must select a landing area that will permit the jumper to
land not closer than 50 feet from any spectator and will
not involve passing over persons on the surface at an
altitude of less than 250 feet.
(2) Parachutists who hold a USPA Class D license with an
exhibition rating, or are members of a DOD-sanctioned
parachute demonstration team, who certify that they will
use a steerable square main and reserve canopy, will be
permitted to exit over or into a congested area. The
selected landing area must not permit the jumper to land
closer than 15 feet from any spectator and will not
involve passing over persons on the surface at an altitude
of less than 50 feet.
e. The holder of FAA Form 7711-1 shall brief the pilot in
command of the aircraft and the jumpers on the terms of this
f. The FAA inspector may wish to develop a provision that
directs the pilot in command or the holder of FAA Form 7711-1
to use a specific Air Traffic Control facility and frequency.
SPECIAL PROVISIONS FOR BALLOON EVENTS
a. FAR 91.79 (b) and (c) are waived to the extent necessary
to allow participating balloons to compete in (insert the
name of the balloon event here) under the terms and
conditions set forth in the FAA-approved procedures section
of the (insert the name of the balloon event manual here).
b. The (insert the name of the balloon event manual) is
incorporated into this FAA Form 7711-1 and becomes a special
provision thereof. A contravention of the terms, controls,
procedures, and conditions pertaining to safety set forth in
the FAA-approved procedures could be the basis for
cancellation of this waiver.
c. The holder of FAA Form 7711-1 shall ensure that each
participating flight crewmember has read and understands the
FAA-approved procedures section of the (insert the name of
the balloon event manual) and the special provisions of this
Pubs & Manual