Rocky Mountain STOL competition coming to Pinedale’s Ralph Wenz Field

Rocky Mountain Stol event poster

PINEDALE — Rocky Mountain Short Takeoff and Landing (STOL) is an aviation competition that will be held August 12-13 in Pinedale. Emblem Aviation and the Town of Pinedale have partnered to host this first-time event.
National STOL Consultant Anitra Goddard will work with Emblem employees and volunteers to put on the highest altitude event of this kind at Ralph Wenz Field, Pinedale Airport, located 7,086 feet above sea level.

At Rocky Mountain STOL, pilots will showcase their skill and precision.

STOL is currently the fastest growing aviation motor sport in the industry with competitions popping up all over the U.S. and abroad.

The format of the local competition is as follows:

Competing pilots are attempting to achieve the shortest combined takeoff and landing distance in their class. The competition is centered around a fixed line painted on the grass strip and marks the start and spot-landing target for the pilots and is used as the official point of measure for scoring.

Each aircraft’s main landing gear (the two larger wheels) is staged at the start line by an official line judge; once the pilot is released it is their goal to get both tires off the ground in the shortest distance possible. There are line judges who measure the distance.

Handheld radios are used to communicate the score to the scorekeeper.

Airbosses line up the aircraft in each class to keep the competition flowing quickly and safely. When the pilots come in for landing, they are aiming to land with the same two wheels on, or just past the fixed line and to stop as short as possible; that score is then measured by the line judges and communicated to scoring. If the wheels touch down before the line, it is referred to as a “scratch,” resulting in disqualification from the round.

Every pilot will complete three rounds. The scores for each round are calculated and the pilot with the round with the shortest combined distance in each class wins and takes home some amazing prizes and trophies! 

Competing aircraft range from Aviat Husky backcountry airplanes, Legend Cubs, Cessna 182’s, popular kit planes and everything in between.

The six classes are Heavy Touring, Light Touring, Bush, Bush Experimental, Light Sport and Light Experimental. 

Practice begins Friday, Aug. 12 at 8:00 a.m. and is free to the public!

Competition starts Saturday Aug. 13 at 8:00 a.m. so come early, bring your lawn chairs and your sunscreen!

Advanced tickets online cost $10 for adults. Children 12 and under are admitted free.
Tickets at the gate are $15.

If you are interested in competing or saving money by purchasing tickets in advance go to and sign up today!

Questions about sponsorship or volunteering should be directed to Angela Douglas, 307-231-5223.