FLYING Magazine

The Valdez STOL Competition & Fly-in Air Show is set to celebrate two decades of aviation excellence at Valdez Pioneer Field Airport (PAVD) in Alaska. Red Bull Air Race pilot Łukasz “Luke” Czepiela, known for his exceptional aerial maneuvers, headlines the event during the second weekend of May.

Czepiela combines commercial piloting with aerobatics competitions and air races. He started competing in aerobatics in 2010, eventually joining the Polish aerobatics team, Żelazny. He branched into air racing in 2014, winning the Red Bull Challenger Cup in 2018. Czepiela owns a Red Bull-themed CubCrafters Carbon Cub EX STOL aircraft for backcountry flying.

Czepiela will participate in the Valdez STOL competition, flying his specially modified airplane. 

Joe Prax, president of Valdez Fly-in, expressed excitement about Czepiela’s participation.

“His involvement adds a new dimension of excitement to an already iconic event,” Prax said.

CubCrafters, a leader in innovative aircraft design that manufactures experimental, light sport aircraft (LSA), and Part 23-certified aircraft, is the title sponsor for the event. Its Carbon Cub family of aircraft, including the model piloted by Czepiela, exemplifies the company’s commitment to innovation and performance in personal adventure aviation.

READ MORE: Annual Valdez STOL Event Brings New Competitors, Former Winners

“We welcome CubCrafters as the title sponsor for this year’s event,” said Prax. “CubCrafters has been a sponsor and supporter since the inception of the Valdez Fly-in. CubCrafter aircraft have been a feature of the fly-in for years.”

The Valdez Fly-in & Air Show is recognized as the grandfather of STOL competitions and continues to be the premier event of its kind in the Western U.S.. This year’s festivities will also include beach landings, balloon pop, flour bombing, aerobatics shows, and pilot roundtables.

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