The next event is to be held on 4th February 2023
The Healthy Bastards Bush Pilot Champs is a Precision Landing, and STOL Takeoff and Landing competition held annually at Omaka Airfield, Blenheim.
Why “Healthy Bastards ?”
The Healthy Bastards Bush Pilot Champs main sponsor is Dr. Dave of the Bulls Flying Doctor Service. One of life's “hard cases”, Dave is passionate about promoting healthy living and uses non-PC methods to get his message across. He has published a book and a DVD to push his Healthy Bastards message, and regularly posts videos and health info on his rapidly growing Facebook page.
See his website at www.healthybastards.co.nz.
The Healthy Bastards Bush Pilot Champs is hosted by the Marlborough Aero Club, and is a perfect addition to their bush pilot and airstrip flight training courses they offer from their base at Omaka Airfield.
S.T.O.L. in Brief
STOL is pilot talk for “Short Take Off and Landing”. A “STOL” aircraft is one that is specially designed or modified to takeoff and land in as short a distance as possible, usually for the purpose of operating in and out of rough bush airstrips. In years gone by, the Piper PA18 SuperCub was the aircraft of choice because of its long, high lift wing design, great power to weight ratio, and strong undercarriage. In recent years there has been a resurgence in popularity of this type of flying, giving rise to all sorts of new aircraft designs, and new improved modifications for old designs such as the Cub. Popular modifications for STOL aircraft include huge “Alaskan Bushwheel” tyres that are inflated to only a few psi, Vortex Generators that help the wing stall at slower airspeeds, extended undercarriage legs, large engines with more horsepower, special wingtips etc etc. As with any competitive sport, there are some pilots that become obsessive with the goal to takeoff & land in the minimum distance possible, and will go to any lengths to achieve that goal. The hugely popular Valdez competition in Alaska each May is where the worlds best STOL pilots meet to face off. The best of the best are taking off and landing in as little as 20-30 metres!