New STOL Competition to Launch in Minnesota

The first Sod-Buster STOL Competition will take place after AirVenture Oshkosh.

Pilots will have a chance to show off their short takeoff and landing skills this summer in Milaca, Minnesota.Courtesy Sod-Buster STOL Competition

There is a growing population of backcountry flying enthusiasts breathing life into the taildragger/short takeoff and landing (STOL) world with the popularity of one-offs like the turbopowered extreme STOL Draco. To satisfy the need for pilots to play and show the proficiency on challenging short fields, a new STOL competition is emerging outside Minneapolis.

The Sod-Buster STOL Competition will take place on Saturday, August 3 at 10 a.m. at the Milaca Municipal Airport (18Y), about 2 miles northeast of the town of Milaca, Minnesota. Four categories of airplanes will compete: Heavy Touring, Light Touring, Bush Class and Light Sport/Light Experimental Aircraft. The event was strategically scheduled right around EAA's AirVenture in Oshkosh, hoping to attract pilots making the migration to Oshkosh, Wisconsin. "The goal is to have a good time and to make this an annual event," said Jeff Pohl, who is organizing the event.

The top three performers in each category will receive prizes and the awards will be delivered during a pig roast dinner following the flying competition. Locals will provide the food and entertainment for the event. There will also be a fly-in breakfast on Sunday morning.

The event costs $50 to enter. There are no landing fees and there is free camping available starting on July 29 along the 2,900-foot turf runway. Showers are also available at the field.