"Acrobatic flying is a useless skill in its particulars -- no combat pilot will ever need to loop or slow-roll -- but it is one that extends your control of the plane and yourself, and makes extreme actions in the sky comfortable. In acrobatics the sense of flying is extended to its extreme limit; flying a plane though a loop or a Cuban-eight is the farthest thing possible from simply driving it. When you reach the top of a loop, upside-down and engine at full throttle, and tilt your head back to pick up the horizon line behind you, you are as far outside instinctive human behavior as you can go -- hanging in space, the sky below you and the earth above, inscribing a circle on emptiness … . The more things you can make a plane do, the more you are flying it; though that's not quite right -- you don't make a plane roll, you coax it, ease it, fly with it through the whole maneuver. It becomes a natural series of muscular adjustments, like walking or running, but more conscious."