Sand, Sun, and STOL in the Desert

Where Swamp STOL was cold and wet, Outlaw STOL was HOT and dry. With temperatures reaching almost 100 degrees and an asphalt runway, conditions could not have been more different for National STOL’s second competition of the year, located just a few miles from the US/Mexico border at Somerton Airport.

National STOL was thrilled to debut its newly built out production trailer for the first time at Outlaw STOL. This dedicated space for our production team helps to support our live broadcasts, as well as transport equipment between event venues. Many thanks to National STOL sponsor for providing this incredible space!

With a number of new competitors mixed in with a few familiar faces, the competition was almost as hot as the desert air! While Hal Stockman was unable to attend due to a mechanical failure the day before, CC Pocock and the last minute registration of Frank Knapp still ensured the crowd that came out saw some of the legends of STOL flying.

The Rookie class featured four new pilots to National STOL competition, including Somerton Airport Manager Eric Saltzer and Outlaw STOL founder Jonathan Stains. Pilot Joe Eiling won the Rookie class and must now enter his next competition in his standard class. Steve Radenbaugh chose to compete in both the Rookie and Backcountry classes, while Jimmy O’Neal and CC Pocock flew in their standard classes and a second time in exhibition against Jerry Fletcher in the Unlimited class.

Frank Knapp put on a clinic in the Sport class with a winning score of 96′ for his combined take off and landing. CC Pocock won the Adventure Class, as well as placing first in exhibition for Unlimited. See below for full class results:

Outlaw STOL would not be possible without the incredible local support of the Yuma and Somerton communities, including the Yuma International Airport, Quail Corp Construction, and the Cocopah Casino and Resort. Finally, many thanks to Somerton Airport manager Eric Saltzer, and Outlaw STOL founder Jonathan Stains, who also runs Skydive San Luis.

Those that stayed to the end of the weekend were treated to a stunning sunset and bonfire on Saturday evening. Pilots, staff, volunteers, and campers truly saw the best the desert has to offer.

Be sure to visit the National STOL FacebookInstagramYouTube, and TikTok pages for all the sights and sounds of the competition weekend. While technical issues beyond our control interrupted the morning live feed, our production team is hard at work even after the event to transmit every moment of Outlaw STOL to those who were unable to join us in person.

The 2023 season is heating up! Join us at our next event, the Wayne America Fly-In, May 25-28. Registration for pilots is open on the National STOL website. For all other event details, visit Wayne America!

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