Aragon Aviation, Inc.

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Aerobatic champion Cecilia Aragon flies her custom-built Sabre 320 over San Francisco Bay. Equipped with an all-composite EDGE wing by Zivko Aeronautics of Guthrie, Oklahoma, the Sabre has a roll rate of 420 degrees per second and climbs at 4,500 fpm.

The Pilot

Cecilia Aragon is one of the most skilled aerobatic pilots flying today. A former member of the U.S. Unlimited Aerobatic Team, she was a medalist at the 1993 U.S. National Championships and the 1994 World Aerobatic Championships, and was the California State Aerobatic Champion. She was a professional airshow pilot since 1990, and has logged over 5,000 accident-free hours, flying shows and competitions all over the United States and Europe in front of millions of spectators.

Cecilia Aragon

The Show

The unusual roar of the Sabre as Cecilia Aragon accelerates down the runway will grab your attention from the start of the show. Then she displays the unbelievable power of this aircraft with a vertical S right on takeoff!

From then on it's nonstop unlimited aerobatics as Cecilia puts the Sabre through its paces. Her routine is exciting and fast-paced, with no breaks for repositioning or to climb for altitude. The maneuvers she flies include torque rolls, tailslides, multiple snap rolls, Lomcevaks and other wild gyroscopics, high negative "G" maneuvers, rolling circles, knife-edge flight, and more! All maneuvers are flown in a tight box right in front of the crowd.





The Pilot's Story

From the moment she entered aerobatic competition, Cecilia Aragon showed an unusual flair for the kind of flying that requires precision, grace, and guts.

She won the second contest she ever entered, defeating 18 other competitors in the hotly-contested Sportsman category. She rapidly ascended to the top Unlimited category, where again, she won the second contest she entered, winning over competitors with many years of experience.

On her first try for the U.S. Aerobatic Team in 1991, less than six years after she first soloed an airplane, Cecilia Aragon won one of the coveted slots. No other aerobatic pilot has equalled her record.

Yet before 1985, nobody who knew her would have thought Cecilia would become an aerobatic pilot. A shy woman with a fear of heights, she envisioned a career behind a desk or computer screen.

"When I was growing up," she says, "my big dilemma was whether to become a scientist or an artist. Becoming a pilot was absolutely the furthest thing from my mind."

A native of Indiana, Cecilia graduated from the California Institute of Technology with a degree in mathematics and English literature. She moved to the San Francisco Bay Area to study computer science at the University of California at Berkeley, then stayed to take a job as a computer programmer.

But in 1985, a co-worker offered her a ride in a Piper Archer. Cecilia, who almost turned down the offer because she had always considered small planes dangerous, had her first taste of something that would eventually change her life.

"I was in heaven," she recalls. "I said, 'this is my dream, this is it.'"

Immediately, she started taking flying lessons and working towards her dream. Without financial resources, Cecilia had to work two jobs to support the flying, often putting in 80 to 100 hours a week, and squeezing the practice in on the side.

Six years of hard work later, she had made it -- she was a member of the United States Aerobatic Team.


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IAC Competition Information

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