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 Sportsman and Advanced 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 shoud look at Sportsman.

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


General NZ Pattern Rules

Sportsman Rules

Advanced and F3A are flown to the current FAI rules – see Sporting Code, Section 4, F3 Aerobatics



A16 ADVANCED Schedule

F3A P-17, F-17 Schedule