The MayDay STOL competition in Wayne, Nebraska, came to an abrupt and tragic halt on Friday evening with the loss of pilot Tom Dafoe, who was piloting a 1946 Cessna 140.
Dafoe was flying in the fourth heat of a traditional STOL pickup match when the Cessna entered a stall-spin around 300 feet agl, from straight-and-level flight with airspeed low, according to eyewitnesses on the scene at Wayne Municipal-Stan Morris Field. The subsequent impact took Dafoe’s life.
MayDay STOL event organizers stopped the event, and most participants headed home, as investigation into what led up to the accident began. The event had been scheduled to run for four days and was to include a STOL Drag competition on Friday, which had been scrubbed because of high winds.
A GoFundMe has been established for Dafoe’s family, including his wife and five kids.