Do you want to compete in an MSFS STOL competition? Or maybe you just want to watch as others skillfully sneak up on the landing zone and plunk their plane down to set a new record. You can do both at the upcoming STOL Competition in early October on the Burstix Twitch channel.
In a live interview that FSNews conducted with Burstix and Tom Wolf, we learned that the real National STOL competition, with real planes, is fashioned to a fine degree of realism in Microsoft Flight Simulator. Burstix calls it eSTOL and he has been working hard with Tom Wolf, who streams the live National STOL events on YouTube and Facebook. The two of them have worked together to bring us the same environment in Microsoft Flight Simulator so we can grab the same airplanes and try our hand at landing and taking off just like a real STOL competition, complete with markings on the ground, judges, custom scenery and live cameras.
What is STOL?
STOL is a acronym for Short Take Off and Landing. In real life, pilots with STOL-capable planes can typically get in and back out again from the smallest airstrips and even sand bars and gravel beaches. A competition such as this will test a pilot’s skills to the limit, as they want to come in slowly without stalling yet touch down and stop as soon as possible. Then, when taking off, they want to be in the air as soon as possible. This is how they judge and mark their performance. It is all about the distance to do both.
Burstix has helicopter training, but when he saw STOL competitions on the National STOL channel, he had to be a part of it. With the help of Tom Wolf, who streams the National STOL competitions from the event grounds, they got to work on making it happen in MSFS. The result is the same rules as the real deal and some custom scenery to mimic the real-life event grounds. Tom Wolf holds a private pilot certificate in real life and can easily explain all the intricacies and strategies for STOL skills. The two of them will teach these techniques live on the ForderLearnToFly Twitch stream on Tuesday, September 19th at 5 pm Eastern to help newbies prepare to compete. In that session, you will learn the rules, airplanes, strategies and tips for effective STOL competition. Every sim pilot will want to learn this.
What is National STOL?
Tom Wolf works from his trailer where he produces the live National STOL events onsite. He is looking for more volunteers to help with crowd control and airside operations at the real events. With his insight for how it all works, it is a great match to bring Tom and Burstix together to make this happen in MSFS. Burstix reached out to two well-known scenery developers, STEU3R and ANNOV! With the aid of airport diagrams and competition drawings, they recreated two airport sceneries that anyone can download and use in Microsoft Flight Simulator. They are available on flightsim.to
- KXNK – Music City Gallatin – eSTOL Event which is 30 miles NorthEast of Nashville Tennessee. In addition to the airport, you will find the additional 660 feet long by 125-foot-wide eSTOL markings beside the runway. This is where all the action happens at STOL competitions. Now we have it in MSFS.
- OVJF – Johnsons Farm. A bush strip/STOL practice area for all of us to practice on our own without cameras or twitch streams to see our mistakes. It also has the distance markers every 20 feet and a single float mark for precise measurements. Johnsons Farm has a history in real life and it is a fascinating read. You can view that when you get to the scenery download page. It also features hard fencing, so if you overrun 600 feet, you will certainly nose over when you reach that fence. It also contains a podium for winners, a rules bulletin board, and drinks for refreshment. This scenery will also place two other airstrips nearby for a real test without lines or judges, 3CL2 and OVBB.
When you pick up these two sceneries, you can show your appreciation with a donation, and ensure they continue making great sceneries we can use.
Where Can I Practice & Learn?
Practices for STOL competitions can certainly be done at home with MSFS on your own, but the competition part begins when you add friends in multiplayer mode. Orbx has an excellent collection of three bush strips for MSFS. Every Sunday, Burstix hosts the twitch stream devoted to learning STOL techniques and fun competitions. You would watch the Twitch stream, use your home sim MSFS with multiplayer to be on the same field and already have your scenery loaded. You are good to go and ready to learn how the STOL experts do it. Good luck!
The eSTOL Official Competition will be held on Burstix TV on Saturday, October 7th 2023
The National STOL real event not to be missed is November 2nd to the 5th, 2023.