What is Pattern?


Pattern Aerobatics is a specialised discipline of this fantastic hobby. It is all about flying purpose built aircraft which usually do not resemble full size through specific precision sequences of aerobatic figures. In Clubman anything goes in terms of aircraft, there are no limitations. So no matter if you have a 40 size sports model or a large scale aerobat why not have a go at Pattern. F3A is the International top level class of pattern aerobatics. In F3A the aircraft have to fit into a 2x2m box and weigh less than 5kg. There is tremendous skill and satisfaction in flying that ‘perfect’ flight so if you have never experienced this discipline why not go check out the next comp near you. See the event calendar for more details. For your first competition you should look at Clubman.

Pattern Judging Exam

We are very fortunately to offer (thanks to Russell Edwards and the Australian Pattern Association) a NZ version of the Australian judging exam. This is an invaluable training tool, and allows pilots of all levels and judges to learn about the F3A rules and judging guide.

Head to the NZRCAA Judges Exam and give it a go. Take some time, and use it as an opportunity to refresh your knowledge of the rule book. Good luck! 70% is a pass – that can’t be too hard, right? The page has some good judging resources to read first including:

FAI rules – see Sporting Code, Section 4, F3 Aerobatics, APA judging guidelines, Maneuver execution guide

There are four pattern classes flown in NZ. Clubman is for those starting out (a 40 size low wing model is ideal) – this is flown to a local set of New Zealand rules. Then you can progress to Expert, and finally Masters and F3A which are flown to an international set of rules. The Clubman schedule is not difficult, but is a challenge to fly well. Come and have a go!

Classic is a new class for those interested in flying older, ‘classic’ pattern models.

General Overview

NZRCAA Pattern Rules v1.8 April 2018


NZRCAA Clubman Pattern Rules and Schedule v1.3 April 2018

NZRCAA Clubman Pattern Call Card


NZRCAA Expert Pattern Rules v1.1 April 2018

NZRCAA Expert Pattern Call Card

NZRCAA Expert Pattern Aresti Left

NZRCAA Expert Pattern Aresti Right

Masters and F3A

Masters and F3A Rules – please see Sporting Code, Section 4: Aeromodelling, F3 Aerobatics (note: NZ masters pattern is flown to the FAI Advanced rules).

Classic Pattern

NZRCAA Classic Rules v1.3 April 2018

NZRCAA Classic Call Card

NZRCAA Classic Ribbon Diagram

NZRCAA Classic Aresti Left

NZRCAA Classic Aresti Right

Original Classic FAI Sporting Code – for interest only