Competitor & Pilot Information

Safety is the most important part of our culture. We want you to be safe. Any competitor that unnecessarily puts other pilots or attendees at risk will be disqualified and asked not to return. High alpha takeoffs or abrupt maneuvers are prohibited.

This page is just a summary. Be sure to download the full rules from the PDF at the bottom of this page.

General Information

You will select your competition class upon registration. Competition classes are outlined in Appendix A. Please contact us prior to registration if you are unsure of the class in which you should compete.

Registration fees are NON-REFUNDABLE. 

Pilots may compete in multiple aircraft but must be able to do so in a way that does not hinder the competition. A registration fee will be charged for each aircraft. 

Pilots may share an aircraft, but each pilot’s score will count for that competitor. Each pilot must pay his or her own registration fee.

Each event has a separate registration closing time. No late registrations will be accepted.

Each pilot and volunteer must sign a liability waiver prior to each event.

Takeoff Competition

The goal is to takeoff in the shortest distance. Each class will have their own group. Each pilot will be allowed multiple attempts. Score is based on the best “round” (a pair of takeoff and landing).

Landing Competition

The goal of the landing competition is to stop in the shortest distance. Each pilot will be allowed multiple attempts and each score is still based on the best round.


Whether you’re flying around your ranch, or in our competition, be prepared! We highly recommend that you wear a helmet! Grab one from your favorite supplier or athletic store! Helmets will become mandatory in future seasons.

Shoulder Harnesses

Just like Helmets, Shoulder Harnesses save lives. If you are competing, you should have a shoulder harness in your airplane. Shoulder Harnesses are strongly recommended, but will become mandatory in future seasons.

Competition Classes

Unlimited Class-NEW in 2023!

The Unlimited Class is the premier Class for prizes and awards. As such, the entry fee will be raised $500 for this class (in addition to the $125 Standard fee, resulting in a registration cost of $625 in total). This additional $500 will be split as the guaranteed cash purse for the Unlimited Class. The cash prizes are in addition to any other sponsored prize or trophy. Please see the PDF Rules sheet below for the prize breakdown.

Standard Classes

Exhibition Class-No Prizes or Season Standings 

 Any FAA certificated Single engine aircraft models as determined by gross weight over 3,600 lbs, Twin Engine Aircraft, or other aircraft that are not covered by the classes below.

Touring Class

  • C-180, C-185, C-182, C-206, C-210, Maule M-4, M-5, M-6, M-7, M-9, C-150, C-152
  • If not listed: FAA certificated ASEL models as determined by gross weight from 2,301 lbs to 3,600 lbs.

Backcountry Class

  • Citabria; Aviat Huskys; Scout; Stinson 105, Stinson 108-2; T-Craft (over 1,320 lbs); Swamp Monster; Cessna 170, C-172, C-175, C-177.
  • If not listed: other FAA certificated ASEL models as determined by gross weight from 1,321 to 2,300 lbs.

Adventure Class

  • Mackey SQ-2; Bearhawk Patrol; Carbon Cub EX, Carbon Cub FX; Dakota Super 18; Legend (EAB); Savage Outback Shock; Super Cruiser;  Murphy Moose; Backcountry BOSS; Bearhawk, PA-12, 14, 18, and PA-22, Top Cub; Tern X Cub; CC’s Experimental Super 170
  • If not listed:  other FAA certificated ASEL as Experimental with a gross weight more than 1,320 lbs.

Sport Class

  • CSport Cub S2; Zenith 701 & 750; Rans S-7LS; Super Legend; T-Craft (1,320 lbs); Bearhawk LSA; Carbon Cub SS; Dakota Super 18-LT; Legend (ELSA); Rans (ELSA); Just Aircraft Highlander & SuperSTOL, PA-11 / J3, AL-3.
  • If not listed: other FAA certificated ASEL as determined by a maximum gross weight up to 1,320 lbs.

Unlimited Class

  • New in 2023 is the creation of an Unlimited Class, an open class for any pilot and any airframe to join. 
  • The class is scored in feet (distance) and follows traditional scoring.
  • Each aircraft gets at least 3 runs to score the shortest total distance. 
  • Tires must be marked with a yellow line, such as tape, no less than 3 inches long, perpendicular to the edge of the tire. 
  • Helmets and shoulder harnesses are required to be worn by competitors in the unlimited class.

Rookie Class

The Rookie class is an optional, relaxed class for all aircraft models and types (as long as they fit into a traditional standard class, i.e., no helicopters or twins) for new competitors. Rules in the Rookie class are relaxed and if time allows, pilots in this class may have a separate practice session ahead of the competition. Competitors may continue to participate in the Rookie class until they place first in the class. The Rookie class has no prizes and no season points. 

The goal of the Rookie class is to educate newcomers to the series and encourage them to grow as pilots. While pilots should be experienced aviators in their aircraft type, this will help them learn the National STOL competition format and standards in a fun, low-stress environment.

Season Scoring-Points System

At the end of the season, an annual champion will be named in each competition class. The annual champion is determined by the number of points accumulated at individual events throughout the year, as outlined below. Please note: You do not have to be present at the final event (“annual championship”) to win; however, points earned at this event will be added to the existing standings. 

Point Earned by Placement (Within Class)

Each competitor will accumulate season points for the Class(es) in which they compete. If a competitor moves back and forth between the Unlimited and Standard Classes throughout the season, they will accumulate points in both Classes. For example, if a competitor competes in the Unlimited Class and places 1st, they would earn 25 points in the Unlimited Class. If they compete and place 2nd in their Standard Class at the next event, they would have 25 points in the season standing for the Unlimited Class and 18 events in their Standard Class. Points do not transfer in between Classes.

The most consistent competitor of the event will earn 1 additional point toward the season standings. Most consistent is determined by the competitor with the lowest average variation between all rounds AND no DQs.

Pilot Performance Index 

The PPI Winner of each event shall be determined by a Pilot Performance Index. This is scored based on the winning total score by the class leader, as compared to the class leader of the shortest distance (including unlimited class).  See the attached rules sheet for details.

National STOL 2023 Season Rules

Updated February, 2023

Download a copy: THE RULES

If you have any questions, please email us at