Following the posting about learning loops through looking, I had a conversation with my father who is an aerobatic pilot, and it reminded me of my 30-pound visualization problem. My dad flies a Cessna 152 Aerobat, which is a small, 2-seat aerobatic training plane based on the ubiquitous Cessna 152. Unlike most aircraft designed specifically for aerobatics, the 152 has a control yoke instead of a control stick, which means it is slightly less intuitive to fly through complex maneuvers.
I remember the first time I flew loops with dad. Just like in the drawing, we'd dive the plane until we were going about 120 MPH, then pull back the yoke to start the climb. The question for the first time looper is how much to pull back. Dad would calmly say, "Pull back with 30 pounds pressure until we're vertical, then release to 20 pounds, then over the top we'll just let it float".
"Fine", I'd say, "but how the hell much is 30 pounds pressure?" By that point it didn't really matter because we were already upside down, looking UP at the ground. Throughout the loops (which were a lot of fun BTW), I kept wondering what that "pulling thirty pounds" really meant.
Later on I did some research and determined that 30 pounds is equal to 5 bricks. A-ha. Only trouble with that is that I've never pulled 5 bricks towards me while sitting down, so the analogy was still lost on me.
Well, today I weighed by 23 month-old daughter, and guess what? Yup: that's what pulling 30 pounds feels like. Now I have the perfect visual image in my mind for the next time I do loops.
Of course, by then she'll probably weigh 40 pounds.