Congratulations to Deane Philip for taking first place in his Zenith STOL aircraft at the New Zealand Bush Pilot Championships in Omaka, New Zealand, on Saturday, February 3, 2018.

Here's the video of the incredible short take-off and precision short landing:

The Zenith STOL CH 701's winning performance: Take-off: 12.6  Landing: 14.7

We'll add more photos and videos here from the 2018 event as they become available.

Deane Philip (above), of Christchurch, New Zealand, has been flying for five years and has logged 570 hours in his Zenith STOL over that time. When asked how he practices for the STOL competitions, Philip explains that "every take off and landing is a focused precision attempt. All of my flying is off-airport and the places we land and take-off from you need to be on point. Even when leaving and arriving at my home field I use the runway threshold line as a target point to continually hone my skills. An average outing will consist of 10 to 20 off field landings instead of just flying from A to B. This is the type of flying where the Zenith STOL truly excels."

Flying in New Zealand is ideal for perfecting off-airport flying skills, whether beach landings (top) or mountain top ridges (bottom). Check out Deane's YouTube video channel for more great STOL flying videos from New Zealand.

Above: Landing on rocky river beds. Bellow: Landing on mountain pastures:

Congratulations also to Chris Anderson for taking second place with his Zenith STOL in the national competition.

Above photo of Chris Anderson in his STOL CH 701. Check out the official 2018 competition results.

Deane's STOL CH 701 is powered by a 130-hp Viking engine (Honda conversion), and Chris Anderson's Zenith STOL is powered by a 120-hp Rotax 912ULS "big bore EFI" engine.

First introduced in 1986, the STOL CH 701 aircraft was developed as an “off-airport” short take-off and landing kit aircraft to fulfill the demanding requirements of both sport pilots and first-time builders. With the STOL CH 701, designer Chris Heintz combined the features and advantages of a “real” airplane with the short-field capabilities of an “ultralight” aircraft. With form following function, the aircraft features fixed leading-edge slats for high lift, full-span flaperons (both ailerons and flaps), an all-flying rudder, and durable all-metal construction. Read more about the unique design features of the Zenith STOL aircraft.

While the basic design has remained the same, many significant improvements have been introduced over the years, including a higher useful load, easier and quicker build kits, and more detailed drawings and step-by-step assembly instructions.  The popularity of the original CH 701 has grown over the years as this design has proven itself exceptionally well in the field, and the original design has expanded into the STOL CH 750 and four-seat CH 801 aircraft (all based on the original CH 701 design). Last year, Zenith Aircraft introduced the latest variant, the STOL CH 750 Super Duty, with increased cabin size and higher load carrying capability.

Zenith Aircraft kits have become significantly easier and quicker to build over the years as final hole size match-drilled parts and assemblies have become available, thanks to CNC manufacturing and SolidWorks design software. New kits take just a few hundred hours to assemble, requiring just simple skills and tools to put together.

The sixth annual event, officially called the "Healthy Bastards Bush Pilot Championships," is a precision landing STOL Takeoff and Landing competition, held annually at Omaka Airfield, Blenheim, New Zealand.


Top photo: Deane Philip's winning performance in the Zenith STOL during take-off."
Photo credit: "Classic Aircraft Photography, New Zealand"

More from the New Zealand Bush Pilot STOL Championships:

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Comment by Zenith Aero on March 22, 2018 at 11:10am

Nice video interview with Deane Philip with some good footage of short take-offs and landings:

Comment by Zenith Aero on February 27, 2018 at 1:32pm

Good follow up news report on Deane and his STOL CH 701, as seen on national New Zealand news.

Comment by Zenith Aero on February 9, 2018 at 5:17pm

Great photos of Deane Philip in his Zenith STOL "Sky Jeep" at the 2018 "Healthy Bastards Bush Pilot Championships" in New Zealand.
Winning Performance! Take-off: 12.6, Precision Short Landing: 14.7

Comment by Zenith Aero on February 9, 2018 at 5:14pm

Great photos of Chris Anderson in his Rotax-powered Zenith STOL "Sky Jeep" at the 2018 "Healthy Bastards Bush Pilot Championships" in New Zealand. Take-off: 12.4, Precision Short Landing: 27.7

Comment by Jan Eggenfellner on February 5, 2018 at 7:34pm

We love to see Deane fly his Viking 130 powered CH-701. 

Placing before a highly modified Rotax 912 that traditionally has been the engine of choice for this aircraft, Deane's skills and the Viking Engine power speak for them selves.  

Comment by Zenith Aero on February 5, 2018 at 4:17pm

An average Saturday flying with Deane in New Zealand with his Zenith STOL:

Comment by Zenith Aero on February 5, 2018 at 4:15pm

Deane practicing precision short landings:

Comment by Sebastien Heintz on February 5, 2018 at 4:11pm

Congratulations Deane! You make us proud!

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