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Forty-Four Feet Captures Valdez STOL Competition

  • Bobby Breeden’s 44-foot combined second set
    Screen grab from video on Valdez Fly-In & Air Show Facebook page showing on Bobby Breeden’s 44-foot combined second set at Valdez, Alaska, May 9.

May 14, 2015 - Some incredible performances were turned in last weekend at the annual Valdez STOL (short takeoff and landing) competition in Valdez, Alaska, held in conjunction with the 12th annual Valdez Fly-In and Air Show. Bobby Breeden, who was part of the first-ever STOL demonstrations at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2014, needed only 44 feet of runway to take off - and land - in an experimental Glacier Cub, topping all others at Valdez and winning the Alternate Bush Class.

Breeden paired a 24-foot takeoff with his second 20-foot landing of the day in less than ideal conditions including 14 knot winds.

Other winning Valdez pilots were:

  • Shawn Holly, Soldotna, Alaska, Light Touring Class - 180 feet total, 76 foot takeoff, 104 foot landing, in a Cessna 170B
  • Kevin Doyle, Soldotna, Alaska, Heavy Touring Class - 233 feet total, 105 foot takeoff and 129 foot landing, in a Cessna 180B
  • Chuck McMahan, Gakona, Alaska, Bush Class - 138 feet total - 62 foot takeoff and 76 foot landing, in a Piper PA 18
  • Frank Knapp, Palmer, Alaska, Light Sport - 61 feet on a 21-foot takeoff, 40 foot landing, in his experimental J3 Cub

The Valdez STOL activities return to Oshkosh this year with flying during the afternoon air show and on selected evenings at EAA AirVenture’s grass airstrip for ultralights on the south end of the grounds. These flying activities are presented by CubCrafters, one of the nation’s leading backcountry aircraft manufacturers, with support from Better Aircraft Fabric, makers of Oratex aircraft fabric and decal systems.

How does a 20-foot landing look? Watch below.

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