“Figure Skating in the Sky” flies over Redlands and Highlands – San Bernardino Sun

Small planes dance over the Santa Ana River between Highland and Redlands this Labor Day weekend.

Chapter 26 of the International Aerobatic Club is hosting the inaugural Redlands Aerobatic Cup until Sunday September 5th at Redlands Municipal Airport.

Susan Bell, Section President and Competition Director, compared the competition to “figure skating in the sky”.

  • Duncan Koerbel lands his red and silver plane during the inauguration of the Redlands Aerobatic Cup at Redlands Municipal Airport on Saturday, September 4, 2021. (Photo by Michael Lopez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Michael Coats cleans his Eagle plane before competing in the Inaugural Redlands Aerobatic Cup at Redlands Municipal Airport on Saturday, September 4, 2021. (Photo by Michael Lopez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Michael Coats cleans his Eagle plane before competing in the Inaugural Redlands Aerobatic Cup at Redlands Municipal Airport on Saturday, September 4, 2021. (Photo by Michael Lopez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Eric Moore prepares to take off from the inaugural Redlands Aerobatic Cup at Redlands Municipal Airport on Saturday, September 4, 2021. (Photo by Michael Lopez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Britt Lincoln repeats her routine as her trainer Dave Watson watches ahead of their participation in the inaugural Redlands Aerobatic Cup at Redlands Municipal Airport on Saturday, September 4, 2021. (Photo by Michael Lopez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Britt Lincoln repeats her routine as her trainer Dave Watson watches ahead of their participation in the inaugural Redlands Aerobatic Cup at Redlands Municipal Airport on Saturday, September 4, 2021. (Photo by Michael Lopez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Britt Lincoln practices her routine as her trainer Dave Watson watches her before competing in the inaugural Redlands Aerobatic Cup at Redlands Municipal Airport on Saturday, September 4, 2021. (Photo by Michael Lopez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Britt Lincoln sits in the cockpit of her plane as she prepares to take off from the inaugural Redlands Aerobatic Cup at Redlands Municipal Airport on Saturday, September 4, 2021. (Photo by Michael Lopez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Dave Watson, right, helps Britt Lincoln with his parachute before competing in the inaugural Redlands Aerobatic Cup at Redlands Municipal Airport on Saturday, September 4, 2021. (Photo by Michael Lopez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Britt Lincoln performs several aerobatic maneuvers during the inauguration of the Redlands Aerobatic Cup at Redlands Municipal Airport on Saturday, September 4, 2021. (Photo by Michael Lopez, Contributing Photographer)

  • The Eagle aircraft owned by Michael and Alex Coats waits on the tarmac before the start of the Inaugural Redlands Aerobatic Cup at Redlands Municipal Airport on Saturday, September 4, 2021. (Photo by Michael Lopez, Contributing Photographer)

On Saturday, the pilots competed in a “known” program – a compulsory tricks sequence – and a “free” program designed by the pilots themselves.

Sunday was to follow all remaining “free” programs, then move on to “strangers.”

“The unknown is the most difficult flight and is only performed by middle and upper competitors,” Bell wrote in an email. “This is a series of numbers given to pilots on paper the day before and they fly without any practice.”

The competition is not open to the public as an air show, and city officials suggest the public not to watch from the airport as the small parking lot would fill up quickly.

Bell said the chapter hopes to include public activities in the future.

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