2014 National Aerobatic Championships underway at NTRA-Perrin Field

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DENISON, Texas -- This week pilots from across the U.S. will take to the skies in Texoma for the 2014 National Aerobatic Championships.

"We all strive for perfection and this is what it's all about, this is the pinnacle of competition," said aerobatic pilot Debby Rihn-Harvey.

Rihn-Harvey has more than 30 years of experience flying aerobatics, and has represented the United States 16 times in International Aerobatic Championships. This week she's at North Texas Regional Airport-Perrin Field, with more than 100 other pilots competing in the 2014 National Aerobatic Championships.

Co-Contest Director Casey Erickson says if Texomans come out to watch, "they can expect to see some of the best aerobatic flying in the Country, if not the World."

But Erickson and Rihn-Harvey stress it is not an airshow.

"We do everything from a safety stand point. That's why we don't come down low like you would see at an airshow, it isn't an airshow. It's totally different, it's all lines, precision, accuracy," said Rihn-Harvey.

There are five categories for pilots: primary, sportsman, intermediate, advanced, and unlimited.

Each category has three rounds of flights: A routine everyone practices, a freestyle flight each pilot designs themselves, and an unknown flight pilots receive hours before the competition, and are not allowed to practice.

By the end of this week, a team of pilots will be selected from the "unlimited" category, to represent the United States at the World Championships in France next year.

The world championships were held here at NTRA last year.

"This is an ideal airport for this kind of stuff, it's large, the hangers, we have plenty of hanger space the runways and the area for the aerobatic box is right here parallel with the runway, if there's a problem you have emergency services, you have spare runways to land on, and the people are absolutely superb," said Rihn-Harvey.

Spectators are welcome, to view the competition schedule visit the U.S. National Aerobatic Championships website.

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