The first event of the National STOL 2023 series is in the books, and what an event it was!
While the weather provided a number of logistical challenges and regretfully prevented some pilots and spectators from making it out to Swamp STOL, those that were in attendance braved the wind, rain, and mud with positive attitudes and were rewarded with some spectacular flying.
Perhaps the highlight of the weekend was Steve Henry’s premiering the YeeHaw 8 in competition! He and his Highlander XL took home first place in the new Unlimited Class with an incredible 35′ combined take off and landing. Dan Reynolds took home second place with a score of 77′.
Swamp STOL was also the debut of the National STOL Rookie Class! Designed as a low pressure environment for pilots to learn the National STOL competition format and test their skills, the impressive results of Kelly Qualls, Chris Jamison, and Nick Ardillo led to more than one remark on the PA wondering if they were actually ringers. As the winner of the Rookie Class at Swamp STOL, Qualls must now enter as a standard competitor in all future events.
New competitors aren’t required to compete in the rookie class, and a few other first timers, such as Justin Tisdale and Shawn Johnson, chose to immediately jump into a Standard class. We welcome all of these newcomers to the National STOL Family! Below, please find the results from each of our six competition classes:
Founder of Swamp STOL, consummate host, and life of the party Colonel Uncle Matthew Peterson once again jumped on the mic with Super Aero host Ryan Dembroski to narrate the events of the day. Along with his announcer responsibilities, Peterson as always arranged the fly-outs, crawfish boils, live music, and non-stop entertainment that make Swamp STOL so much more than just a competition.
As the weekend wrapped up, National STOL said a heartfelt goodbye to one of their own, Anitra Goddard, who is stepping away from the series to pursue new opportunities. Anitra, your contributions to National STOL will always be appreciated…you are the one and only STOL Queen!
Swamp STOL would not be possible without the incredible local support of the mayor and city of Jennings, as well as the Jeff Davis Parish Tourism Commission. While they always go above and beyond to welcome National STOL and Swamp STOL, they took it to a new level this year helping us face the logistical challenges mother nature presented. We also wish to thank local sponsors BTR Jet Center, Dispatch Aviation, the Coushatta Tribe, and AviNation magazine.
Be sure to visit the National STOL Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok pages for all the sights and sounds of the competition weekend. Many thanks to both our live broadcast and newly expanded post-production teams who work tirelessly to capture and transmit every moment to those who were unable to join us in person.
The 2023 season is only just beginning! Join us at our next event, Outlaw STOL, April 21-22 in Somerton, AZ (54AZ). Registration is now open!
The entire 2023 season is made possible thanks to the generous support of our annual sponsors: