WAYNE – Make plans to save the dates of April 28 – May 1 on your calendar this year for one of the largest aviation events in the midwest and the first of its kind in Nebraska.
In less than 39 days, professional pilots from roughly 34 states will compete in short take-off and landing (STOL) airplane drag racing competition at the KLCG – Wayne Municipal Airport.
Scott Hammer with Northeast Nebraska Aviators is a co-chair with Travis Meyer for the MayDay STOL event happening in Wayne. The idea of hosting the event stemmed from an impromptu fly-in welcoming in the Nebraska Pilots Group on Facebook to Wayne. Hammer said the event was brought up following a conversation with those pilots and the group just ran with it.
“It’s kind of a perfect time, right,” said Hammer. “We’re kind of getting out of, we’re not all the way out of it, but we’ve all been cooped up for a long time. Almost all of the aviation events last year were canceled due to we all know why. But we’re kind of hitting a sweat spot as far as when is the right time to get going.”
Both Hammer and Jill Brodersen joined Johnny Walker from San Diego, CA and Collin Caneva from Lincoln Friday afternoon and walked the entire length of the runway putting in over 10,000 steps to figure out the correct distance and width where the planes will take off and land.
From time trials taking place on Wednesday and Thursday and more races on Friday as well as a band performing on Saturday, May 1, all are invited.
The group is crossing more items off the list including narrowing down the vendor list, laying out the course and more details.
“In fact, I think it might be the first time outside of Nevada and California that it’s been this far east.” Hammer added. “This has the potential to be maybe the biggest aviation event between Mississippi and the Rocky Mountains certainly if not this year, by next year at this time.”
Check out the STOL Link to experience the thrills of this exciting competition. Also, find out ticket prices and more information by visiting maydaystol.com.
Aside from handicap and event parking, one of the challenges of welcoming spectators to the airport will be parking.
“The solution is we’re going to use the fairgrounds heavily; Journey Christian Church is also a location and then the softball complex.” Hammer mentioned. “Mid States School Bus is going to handle the shuttling getting people here and they’re also going to drop people off down-town so we can give a little flavor of Wayne, Nebraska.”
Low-end numbers of 500 people per day on April 28 – 29 as well as increasing to 1,500 each on Friday and Saturday are being figured.
Like MayDay STOL Drag Races on Facebook to view past videos of what this event is all about.