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Doyle, Cuzoom Win Annual Valdez STOL Competition

Ed Doyle and Cuzoom
Ed Doyle won the 2011 Valdez Fly-In and Air Show STOL competition flying Mike Olson’s experimental Super Cub Cuzoom.

May 12, 2011 — It’s been about a year since we last wrote about pilot Ed Doyle, EAA 474018, of Manhattan, Kansas, competitor in the annual Valdez Fly-In and Air Show STOL competition each May in Valdez, Alaska. Doyle, who flew the heavily modified experimental Super Cub Cuzoom owned by Mike Olson, of Yakima, Washington, won the wide-open alternate bush plane category in last weekend’s annual event.

In a competition where less is more, Doyle’s total takeoff and landing distance was a mere 78 feet. That’s 43 feet for the takeoff and 35 feet for the landing – best of the bunch.

Last year EAA’s Brady Lane attended the STOL competition and shot a video of Doyle pointing out the many special mods done to Cuzoom, chief among them:

  • 238-hp Aero Sport Power 0-360 engine, with nitrous oxide boost – “Pushes you back in your seat a little bit better,” Doyle said.
  • Special three-blade composite prop from Catto Propeller, of Mokelumne Hill, California – 80-inch diameter, 17 pounds, 37-degree pitch, “spools up really fast.”
  • Extended gear legs
  • 80-degree flap system for ultimate control at very low speeds.

Wired.com reported that rookie competitor Bobby Breeden, 17, of Virginia, who built his airplane from the ground up for the competition, overcame mechanical and regulatory issues to place fourth overall in the competition with a total distance of 101 feet - including the competition’s shortest takeoff distance of 36 feet.

Breeden, who is still a student pilot, repaired a broken ignition system, but had to scramble with the aid of modern tech to overcome a ramp check that revealed he had left the aircraft’s registration and airworthiness certificate back home. But after the documents were located and photographed in Virginia, they was sent electronically and displayed on Breeden’s iPad. FAA officials allowed him to fly so long as he had the iPad on board, although he later printed out hard copies.

Second place in the alternate Bush category was won by Randy Goza, of Wasilla, Alaska, with a total distance of 83 feet, and third place went to Josh Pepperd, Anchorage, 89 feet.    

To see the complete results of this year’s competition, click here.

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