Zenith STOL Champions (once again) at 2021 New Zealand Bush Pilot Championships!

Congratulations to Deane Philip for his first place finish at the 2021 New Zealand Bush Pilot Championships (officially named the "Healthy Bastards Bush Pilot Champs") in Omaka, New Zealand, on Saturday, February 6, 2021. Deane won the national event with both the shortest take-off and shortest landing in his Zenith STOL CH 701, powered by a 130-hp Viking 130 engine.

Fellow Zenith pilot Hamish Crowe finished in second place in his Zenith STOL (below), and tied First Place in the precision landing competition.

Check out the website for more details about the popular annual event in New Zealand. Here are the official results from the Facebook page.


2020 Event: Congratulations to the Zenith STOL pilots for their top finishes at the New Zealand Bush Pilot Championships (officially named the "Healthy Bastards Bush Pilot Champs") in Omaka, New Zealand, on Saturday, February 1, 2020.

As reported by the 2019 champ, Deane Philip: "Congratulations to Frank Barker in NVY for the 1st place finish. I got second place and Chris Anderson 3rd place."

Below, Frank Barker takes off in his STOL CH 701 NVY at the New Zealand Bush Pilot Championships:

Deane further reported that it was a "very difficult day with very humid conditions so no lift," yet he conceded that it was "Great to have someone new win, with fantastic results."

Below, brakes on for the winning short landing roll. (Try doing that with a taildragger!)

Watch the video of the outstanding short take-offs and landing:

The Zenith STOL CH 701's winning performance: Take-off: 28.4  Landing: 50.3

Frank Barker took first place flying in his 100-hp Rotax-powered STOL CH 701 "Sky Jeep" light-sport utility kit airplane. Defending champion Deane Philip took second place in his STOL CH 701, powered by a 130-hp Viking (Honda) engine conversion with a new new four-blade Luga prop. Third place finish went to Chris Anderson in his STOL CH 701, powered by a 120-hp Rotax 912ULS "big bore EFI" engine. Zeniths took the top three spots in the Sport Pilot (<1,325 lbs.) category, competing against other light aircraft, including a Kitfox and Savage Cub.

Watch additional videos of outstanding short take-offs and landing from the New Zealand Championships: 

Outstanding short take-off and landings!

Deane Philip doing what he does best:

Chris Anderson demonstrated the shortest take-off roll at the competition, taking off in just 18.9 meters, even though he placed third overall in his Zenith STOL powered by a 120-hp Rotax 912ULS "big bore EFI" engine.

Below, Chris Anderson in his Zenith STOL Sky Jeep. 

We congratulate all the Zenith STOL pilots for their outstanding performance at the 2020 event!

Why "Healthy Bastards"? It's the name of a video produced by a flying doctor service in New Zealand. The video captures what "people on the street" think about health and what actually makes a "Healthy Bastard" and also gives viewers an insight into the magnificence of New Zealand and some of the unusual but wonderful people that live in it with his mission of trying to find "the healthiest bastard in the bush". The video was developed from Dr Dave Baldwin's book "Healthy Bastards" which, like the video, combines non-PC humor with serious health messages. But beware, as this movie "ain't for the faint hearted".

Photos (and videos) from New Zealand never cease to amaze us: What a beautiful country with such a great mix of terrain to fly over: beaches, mountains, prairies... What better way to explore such as a beautiful country than with a Zenith?

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 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.


More from the New Zealand Bush Pilot STOL Championships:

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Comment by Wayne Woloshin on February 3, 2020 at 6:13pm

Wish I had Big Tires and more HP? Gotta Love the STOL Takeoffs?

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