RJ Gritter Airshows: Decathlon

RJ Gritter Airshows: Decathlon Factsheet

The son of a test pilot dad and a flight instructor mom, RJ has been in the cockpit his entire life. Growing up around the airport in Greensboro, North Carolina, he started flying before he was tall enough to see over the instrument panel! He soloed on his 16th birthday and got his private pilot license on his 17th.​

RJ developed a passion for aerobatics through radio-control (R/C) flying. He started competing in R/C aerobatics at age 16 in national and international events, representing the US in indoor precision and freestyle aerobatic championships. R/C flying gave him a strong background for "full-scale" aerobatic flying.​

RJ earned his bachelor's degree in Aerospace Engineering from North Carolina State University. After graduation, he moved to northern Virginia, just down the street from the Bealeton Flying Circus! He got his Decathlon at the end of 2015 and has since flown almost 500 hours in the airplane, flying his first airshow at the season finale of the Flying Circus in 2016. Between 2017 and 2018, he flew 51 performances and loved every minute of it.

RJ has an 250ft solo aerobatic card and is working toward upgrading to a surface-level waiver early in  the 2019 season.


The Decathlon is iconic as arguably the most popular aerobatic trainer in history. A descendant of the Aeronca Champ and Citabria, the Decathlon was upgraded with inverted fuel and oil systems and a nearly-symmetrical wing to allow "outside" and inverted maneuvers.​

RJ's Decathlon sports a patriotic red, white and blue paint scheme and pours brilliant white smoke for a great presence in the air! 

Manufacturer:     Bellanca

Model:                  8KCAB Decathlon 150 CS

Engine:                 Lycoming AEIO-320, 150HP

Max Speed:          180mph

G limits:               +6/-5