WAYNE, Neb. (KCAU) — People from all over the country flew in to watch a different kind of drag race in Wayne this weekend.
Thirty-five pilots and dozens of planes touched down at the Stan Morris Field for the three-day event.
“For STOL drag, you’re racing airplanes side by side, down and back, and airplanes are reaching about 100 miles an hour,” Organizer Kevin Quinn said. “You land on one end, come to a complete stop spin around, come back to the other end, come to a complete stop, and the first one that comes to a complete stop wins.”
They did traditional STOL on Saturday, which is an acronym for ‘short take-off and landing.’ This is when pilots hover and glide in the wind before touching down.
“Normally, you see an airplane that comes in and lands, and the ground rolls, hundreds of feet. Well, these are going to look like helicopters coming into the sky and landing. It’s quite impressive.”
Besides watching pilots race in the air, patrons were able to tour pit areas and look at planes up close.
“We have the planes open today that way people coming through the event can come up and ask us questions and peek inside a brand new airplane,” Mindy Lindheim said.
Organizer Travis Meyer says watching families enjoy the event they put so much work into is a ‘touchdown’ for him and his partners.
“Through the roof awesome, I mean you get goosebumps,” said Meyers. “That’s where it starts, you know. It’s the little kid dreaming. I also love to see the older generation that flew in World War 2 or haven’t in a while, and this is bringing back memories for them.”
Fans tell us they’re trying to increase awareness of the sport in hopes of attracting pilots from a wider area. Organizers said they plan on making this an annual event.
“If we can have an 8 to 10-12 stop circuit, Mayday will absolutely be the first stop of the tour every year,” Quinn said.