Clear skies greeted pilots Saturday morning in Valdez for the 2016 Valdez Fly In. 40 planes flew out to Hinchinbrook Island for the Beach Landing and Poker Run. In the afternoon, the STOL competition was held. The 13th annual competition featured a wide range of aircraft from Chinook Ultralights to a Pilatus Porter performing in front of a crowd of more than 2000. Ben Brown of Kasilof won Light Sport Class in a stock 0-300 powered 172 with a 161 foot landing and a 83 foot landing. Perhaps the best story was 18 year old Laura Joy Erb competing for the first time in her Cessna 150 making a 207 foot takeoff and 162 foot landing for a total of 369 feet. The heavy Touring Class was won by Matt Conklin from Idaho in a Cessna 180 with a 90 foot take off and a 168 foot landing. The light sport class was won by Robert Peterson of Oriental North Carolina in a Just Super Sport with a take off of 54 feet and 49 foot landing, the shortest of the contest, for a total of 103 feet. The Bush class was won by Jacob Williams of Anchorage in a stock PA-18 160hp with an impressive 54 foot take off and 111 foot landing and 165 foot total. The final class of the day was the Alternate Bush Class won again by Bobby Breeden of Sterling with a take off of 40 feet, the shortest of the day, and a 55 foot landing.
Sunday featured a flour bombing competition as well as a Balloon Bust where pilots were challenged to break a balloon with their propeller. Marcus Paine performed in his 450hp Stearman that he flew up from Arizona and Alaskan Scott Sexton performed in his Citabria as well. More than 140 airplanes attended the three day event.
For questions contact Fly In President Joe Prax at 907-831-0058 or e-mail at