Gallery: High Sierra Fly-In 2021

The dust-up on the Nevada dry lake bed matches airplanes from all corners of the STOL Drag series.

The High Sierra Fly-In 2021 kicked off early last week on the Dead Cow Airstrip and surrounding dry lake bed in northern Nevada, with a collective community event that brought in nearly 1,000 vehicles (aircraft and campers and more…) and roughly 2,000 spectators and participants. The STOL Drag competition pitted long-time backcountry pilots and newcomers alike in an exciting display of aerial skill and aircraft modification.

High Sierra Fly-In
Dooley Vanyo conducts his morning playa patrol, followed by his trusty dog Rusty. Dooley and Rusty are well-known aviators constantly flying all over the country with one of their aircraft—their fleet includes a Carbon Cub, Van’s RV-7, Cessna 180, and a Robinson R44. Leonardo Correa Luna
High Sierra Fly-In
Canadian Invasion! No COVID tests or travel restrictions could stop the Canadian Bush Air Force. In this photo, you see just a small part of the Canadians in attendance at High Sierra Fly-In 2021 with Iain Higginson and “The Mighty Clipper” leading the formation. Leonardo Correa Luna
High Sierra Fly-In
All kinds of airplanes were in attendance at HSF 2021, including Kevin Quinn’s Stearman, with fellow friend and wingman Bruce Graham flying Quinn’s Carbon Cub. Leonardo Correa Luna
High Sierra Fly-In
If you want a shower at Dead Cow, and you don’t have an RV, your closest option is fly to one of the nearby hot springs, land on the road, and take a quick splash. One of the Canadian pilots decided that he had enough dust on his body and went for a bath. Leonardo Correa Luna
High Sierra Fly-In
Kevin Quinn’s fleet doing a sunset over-fly of Dead Cow Airstrip. Quinn is in the lead with his Stearman, with Bruce Graham in the Carbon Cub, and closing the formation Merrick Turner with the Cessna 180. Turner learned to fly with Quinn, and he soloed at HSF 2017. Leonardo Correa Luna
High Sierra Fly-In
In the lead, “The Beast,” Jeff Whiteley, flies his experimental-exhibition Cessna 175 taildragger conversion. On his right wing, 28-year-old Kyle Bushman flies his Navy N3N. Bushman started to work as an aviation mechanic at the early age of 17. He has an old soul, and from the beginning, he worked in wood and fabric. At the same time, he has a very creative mind, and for every problem, he has a solution. Whiteley and “The Beast” were Correa Luna’s main photo ship and pilot during HSF 2021. Leonardo Correa Luna
High Sierra Fly-In
“Low approaches” to check the field before landing are a tradition. Bo Ellis performs a low pass checking the field with his modified Legend Cub with a “180” look-alike square tail. Ellis also owns a 180, and both airplanes wear the same paint scheme. Leonardo Correa Luna
High Sierra Fly-In
A dust-up takes place halfway through the race when the pilots must pivot through a turn back to line up with the runway again to return for the finish. Too much dust and they go “IFR” for a moment—and can’t start their last segment. Leonardo Correa Luna
High Sierra Fly-In
Whelen Aerospace Technologies (WAT) CEO Tyler Wheeler got inspired by the overwhelming tailwheel attendance at HSF 2021 that he couldn’t keep himself from buying one. A deal was closed with CubCrafters for this beautiful Carbon Cub at the fly-in. Now Wheeler only needs to get a tailwheel endorsement. CubCrafters pilot Ben Hodges buzzes Wheeler’s Cub while doing a photoshoot in one of the many playas around Dead Cow. Leonardo Correa Luna

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