Rob Holland Wins U.S. National Aerobatic Championships

Aerobatic performer scores his ninth consecutive trophy.

Aerobatic performer Rob Holland
Aerobatic performer Rob Holland dominated the Unlimited Power category in his MX Aircraft MXS.Gary Schenaman

Aerobatic performer and competitor Rob Holland continues to dominate the Unlimited Power Category at the International Aerobatic Club's U.S. National Aerobatic Championships, taking his ninth consecutive win in Salina, Kansas, last weekend. Flying an MX Aircraft MXS airplane, Holland won all three programs: known, free and unknown, accumulating a total of 11,265 points, 237 points more than he scored last year. In second place was Steven Grohsmeyer, who scored 9,862, closely followed by Jeffrey Boerboon with 9,768. Seven pilots competed in the Unlimited Power category with eight judges scoring their performances.

Holland’s nine-streak record is going to be hard to beat. The previous record for the most National Championships was held by Leo Loudenslager, who set his record in 1982 with a total of seven wins. Holland placed fifth in the FAI World Aerobatic Championships this year, though he had only had a chance to fly a few days of flights, including a couple of test flights in his brand-new MXS airplane before the competition. When questioned about what it takes to reach such success, Holland simply said, “It takes a lot of practice.”

The U.S. National Aerobatic Championships are not limited to world-class pilots. There are several categories: Advanced, Intermediate, Sportsman and Primary Power, based on the complexity of the airplanes flown and the aerobatic maneuvers performed. The only requirements for entering the competition is a pilot certificate (a sport pilot certificate counts), FAA medical certification, and a membership in IAC.

There are also Sportsman, Intermediate and Advanced categories for gliders in the national competition. The winner in Advanced was Mallory Lynch, flying an MDM-1 Fox and accumulating a total score of 3,439 points.