Watching the traffic at internship this week I was treated to an amazing STOL demonstration by a Cessna Skywagon.
The Skywagon was issued a standard pattern entry on a left downwind leg, and all was quiet in the tower for a few moments. Time passed and a tiny dot came into view, gradually turning into a beautiful Cessna 180 as it came closer.
“Watch this. This guy is amazing,” said the local controller. “See that turnoff?” He pointed out the tower cab window to the first turnoff on runway 6, about 100 feet down the pavement. “He can make that turnoff on that runway.”
“No way,” I said. I’ve heard of STOL but the Skywagon needs a little more room than that…right?
“Seriously. Check this out.” The controller clicked his mic and cleared the skywagon for landing on 34. I watched as flaps came down and the pilot made a sharp, curving, Navy-style downwind-to-final U turn.
The Skywagon made a steep approach to a three-point landing on the end of the runway stripes. He stopped before he hit the numbers.
That is MAYBE 150 feet.
With an air of casual awesomeness, the pilot turned off on Lima 4.
“Holy shit,” I said. The controller laughed and keyed the mic. “Hey, Skywagon. You just impressed the new guy. Nice job.”
When the time comes to buy an airplane, the Skywagon may have to be on my short list. If you only want to watch one video, check out the last one. Those jungle strips are pretty intense.
Some western U.S. backcountry flying:
Some Canadian action:
And, finally, to highlight the rugged nature of this machine…jungle flying!