The In’s and Out’s of Volunteering

Aerobatic contests can’t be organized and run without a coordinated team of volunteers. You don’t need to be an aerobatic pilot to volunteer, just have a willingness to learn and to step in where help is needed. Some of our most valuable volunteers have never even flown in a small aircraft (really!).

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Man holding paper on judge line

Volunteer Positions

For our chapter contest, these are the volunteer positions we are looking to fill:


The recorder sits on the judges line and writes down scores and comments on individual figures as the judge grades the flight. These comments are then returned to the pilots and help them understand their scores. Serving as a recorder is a great way to get more exposure to Aresti and learn what the judges want to see if you are interested in flying competition some day.


The assistant judge must be able to read and correctly call (speak) Aresti and keep track of where the pilot is in the sequence. They sit next to the judge and keep him/her aware of what they should be seeing in the air. They also help count “points” on rolls, which way a plane turned, etc. This is the most advanced volunteer position outside of being a grading judge.


The box monitor keeps an eye on the pilot in the box and other aircraft that might be in the area, especially during practice sessions. This position requires the ability to use a handheld radio and a keen eye to spot traffic that could interfere with contest flying.


Our agreement with the FAA  requires a CTAF Monitor at Redlands. This is an experienced pilot with the ability to use a handheld radio and communicate using proper language to inbound aircraft. They alert them to the traffic pattern change and direct them away from the north side of the airport.


We need runners both on the judging line to help collect scores for the chief judge, as well as those with vehicles to run errands as needed into town.

STARTER assistant

The Starter is an experienced pilot who coordinates the departure of contest pilots into the hold. He or she needs several volunteer helpers to wrangle pilots and make sure they are strapping into their airplanes on schedule.


Volunteers in the office help out starting on the registration and practice day. Pilots and volunteers need to be checked in and paperwork completed. The office is a beehive of activity and there’s almost always something to do.


Non-flying volunteers can assist scoring by picking up sheets at the judges line and bringing them to the Scorer. This volunteer can also prepare each contest day’s paperwork. If you are organized,  this is the place for you!

You in for Redlands?

Volunteer Training

To assist both our chapter and others in training volunteers, we have put together the following training pages.

Please link back if possible or credit Chapter 26 if you use these materials on other sites.

How the Judging Line Works

What to expect on the judges line if you volunteer as a recorder, runner, or assistant. Hint: bring sunscreen.

aresti figures

The Aresti Language

In order for pilots around the world to be able to describe and fly the same figures, the Aresti pictoral language was developed.

Three men at table with clipboards and radios

General Volunteer Info

An overview of contest volunteering and tips to make your volunteer experience worth Instagramming.