One Point Per Year

One Point Per Year

4-year-old has begun mastering biplane aerobatics, one maneuver at a time

By Randy Dufault

The Suells are a flying family. With two airplanes in the hangar, flying is something the children experience often, and at an early age. But what kind of flying?

Tommy, the dad of the family, is a professional pilot and president of IAC Chapter 777 in Las Vegas, Nevada. He flies aerobatics competitively in his family’s Christen Eagle II, so when his daughter Amelia reached her fourth birthday she got her first ride in “Daddy’s plane.”

Captured on video and posted on YouTube, the birthday flight shows an excited, little Amelia taking control of the little biplane. Once she could fit into a parachute rig Dad added aerobatics into the mix. That flight video shows Amelia asking for one more roll before the flight had to end.

That excitement obviously stuck with Amelia, as she is progressing into control of aerobatic maneuvers by herself — and still only 4 years old. According to her, she has worked on barrel rolls, flying upside down, and, in a session captured in another YouTube video, four-point rolls. She just has to remember to keep the wings straight and pull back on the stick during the maneuver.

Amelia’s 3-year-old sister, Piper, is already beginning to work on simple maneuvers in the family Comanche.

This is the girls’ first visit to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh.

When asked about which aerobatic maneuver is next, Amelia answered without hesitation: “Eight-point rolls.” Most likely, there will be video to document it, too.

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