A Sod-Busting STOL Event Tears Up the Grass in Wisconsin

Sodbusters 2022 by Husky National STOL brings competitors together the week before Oshkosh.

Husky National STOL’s Sodbusters 2022 was held July 22-24 at Hartford Municipal Airport (KHXF) in Wisconsin. [Courtesy: Josh Richling]

Husky National STOL’s Sodbusters 2022 was held July 22-24 at Hartford Municipal Airport (KHXF) in Wisconsin, just a short drive away from EAA AirVenture at Oshkosh, which took place the following week.

The grass strip was manicured to perfection and the hosting organization was the Cub Air Flight School. 

This school is unique in that it requires all flight students to fly a Piper J-3 Cub (that’s a tailwheel, of course) for the first 15 to 20 hours before transitioning to a Cessna 150 with tricycle gear.

Unfortunately, not all of the competitors would be able to continue on to Oshkosh after traveling half the country, as many had to return to their daily lives.

By the way, don't miss FLYING's gallery of the best photos from STOL Sodbusters '22 here:

The weather was beautiful for the event but would later take a turn for the worse with tornado warnings in effect along with severe thunderstorms. Enjoying the calm before the storm, pilots had tough competition in all classes. The competitors’ experience level had increased as the second year of Husky National STOL continues to draw new pilots and hone the skills of current ones. 

Light Experimental

In the light experimental class, Steve Henry in his Wild West Highlander was the only pilot to break below the 100-foot mark with a combined takeoff and landing score of 95 feet for the Best Overall Win.

Hal Stockman in his Rans S7S took the Most Consistent Award with a total of only 12 feet between his three runs and second place overall at 162 feet.

Colin Caneva in his Carbon Cub rounded out the podium for overall best score at 175 feet, beating Levi Noguess in the Slepcev Storch. 

Bush Class and Experimental Bush

In the bush class, relative newcomer Colin Cosubinsky showed his skills in his Super Cub, taking first place with a score of 249 feet and the most consistent third place award with a deviation of only 38 feet between his runs. He beat out the much more experienced Shawn Francis on this day, who took second, followed by Craig Owen. Francis and Owen both flew Husky A1-Cs

In one of the largest classes (experimental bush), STOL Drag celebrity Kyle Bushman made an appearance in traditional STOL with an impressive second-place performance in a borrowed backcountry Super Cub. He came in just behind the winner, Jay Jolley of the STOL Bandits, in his Bigfoot Carbon Cub EX-2. Clint Busenitz, in his custom built Badlands Traveler, rounded out third place just 7 feet behind Bushman. 

Light Touring and Heavy Touring

The light touring class saw another changing of the guard with Jeff Pohl stopping his airplane hard with the tail high to take the win over Micah Lindstrom (both flying Cessna 170s), followed by an impressive performance in a  Cessna 172 by Kenny Monger.

Warren Grobbelaar remains on top of the heavy touring class with Aaron Greear beating out Andrew Patry for second place. Andrew was testing a new MT Prop with Beta capability and will be one to watch in the future. 

Josh Richling is a crew chief in the National STOL Series. He covers STOL competitions for FLYING.

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