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:

While the Thursday evening and Friday morning weather lived up to the “SWAMP” STOL name, the spirits are high and the National STOL team had an exciting first day in Jennings!

It was a wet night as storms passed through the area Thursday into Friday. The arrivals of the Legend and ArkanSTOL teams were delayed, but the rains dissipated throughout the morning. The newly expanded production team set up interviews at the Jennings Airport FBO before the pilots enjoyed a lunch sponsored by BTR Jet Center in Baton Rouge.

Although practice was delayed by a few hours as the runway dried out, competitors attended their safety briefing and were able to fly starting mid-afternoon. The live broadcast team and announcers enjoyed the opportunity to do a dry run for Saturday’s competition. The strong headwind led to some impressively short take offs and landings! Practice wrapped up by around 5:30pm as competitors and National STOL staff prepared for the evening’s festivities.

Many thanks to the Mayor and City of Jennings, along with the Jeff Davis Parish Tourism Parish, for providing an alternate venue for the crawfish boil and performance by the Bernie Alan Band! Everyone had a great time dancing and eating while catching up with friends old and new.

While Saturday’s weather forecasts to be a bit cool, it should be dry and great weather for flying! Pack your jacket and come on out to Jennings Airport (3R7) for an exciting competition day. Gates open at 9:30am with the competition starting around 11:00am. If you can’t make it in person, be sure to tune in to the livestream on the National STOL Facebook or YouTube pages!

Jennings Airport, 3R7,

Registration is NOW OPEN for the third annual Swamp STOL! Competitors, spectators, and campers are encouraged to join us in Jennings, LA on March 17 and 18 for a weekend of Cajun food and competitive flying. A full event schedule can be found on the Swamp STOL event page.

Pilots can register in any of our newly revised competition classes: The Unlimited Class, Rookie Class, or a Standard Class. Airplanes have been re-categorized into Touring, Bush, Adventure, and Sport Classes to increase competition and more closely align with the historic performance of each airframe throughout our previous events. Please visit our Rules section and download the PDF at the bottom of the page for a full outline of the new class structure!

If you are planning to come out and watch, save money by purchasing your tickets in advance! Spectator tickets for Saturday’s competition are $10 online and will increase to $15 on site. Friday’s practice session can be viewed FREE by anyone holding a competition ticket. Airfield camping is also available, but space is limited! Book your RV, tent, or airplane camping as soon as possible.

Finally, no National STOL event would be possible without our team of volunteers. As a volunteer, you will be part of the one of the most exciting and fasted growing sports in General Aviation. When you volunteer for one of our competitions, you get the behind-the-scenes experience;  getting up close interactions to some awesome pilots, aircraft, and amazing takeoffs and landings!  For more information, check our our Volunteer Registration page.

National STOL thanks Jennings Airport and the Jeff Davis Parish Tourism Board for their continued support of SWAMP STOL. The entire 2023 Season is made possible by the commitment and support of the following sponsorsLegend AircraftLadd Gardner Aviation InsuranceDUC Propellers USASarasota AvionicsFlying Eyes Optics and National STOL Series media partner AviNation Magazine and Rugged Radios,  the official communications partner of the National STOL Series.