Valdez Fly-In 20th Anniversary

By Regan Tunstall

Soon after the Great Alaska Aviation Gathering, the Airmen headed to Valdez for the 20th anniversary STOL competition. This year, we were excited to be more involved with helping organize the fly-in as we’re huge supporters of this annual event. Like years in the past, we had our booth set up and ready to go with pancakes and sausage on Saturday morning. Unfortunately, the weather kept some people away, but we enjoyed all the familiar (and new) faces we saw. Thank you to everyone who attended and showed their support in more ways than one! 

Scott Sexton gave another impeccable show this year by doing his aerobatics in his Citabria, we are always thrilled to see him light up the sky! Valdez had another very special guest all the way from Poland, Lukasz Czepiela! From landing on a helipad in Dubai, Czepiela joined us in Valdez in the famous red bull Super Cub. Not only did he put on an incredible aerobatics show, he also earned 1st place in the experimental bush category. This was the first-time seeing Lukasz in Alaska, but it certainly won’t be the last! 

We had some regular crowd favorites take the sky this year including the Helio Courier taking home 1st place in heavy touring, Dan Reynolds’ Chinook flown all the way from Canada and of course the Everts Air Fuel C46 that never fails to capture the crowd’s attention! 

For the 20th anniversary, we wanted to do something special in lieu of the award ceremony dinner. With the help of Stan Stephens Cruises, we were able to host a sunset cocktail soiree on Saturday night with appetizers and drinks to celebrate the event and competitors. It was a successful turnout, and we hope to do it again in 2025! 

The Airmen are always looking forward to this event and thoroughly enjoy the fly-in. Thank you to everyone who supported the event near and far, we hope to see you again next year!  

All images taken by Lake Hood Life / Kevin Campbell.

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