Text: Patrick Brouckaert - Translation: Marc Arys
Pictures: Patrick Brouckaert & Philip Verhasselt
© sbap 2018
 

For the first time a competition of short take-off and landing (STOL) was organized on one of the beaches at the Belgian Coast. The event, "Knokke Air Trophy" was held from 14 till 17 June 2018.
Especially for this "Air Trophy", a temporary international airfield was erected on the Albert Beach at Knokke le Zoute, to accommodate the participants and their aircraft from various countries. So it was that, besides the Belgian contestants, this artificial airfield welcomed participants from Great Britain, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, France, Germany, Monaco and even Poland. Really an international event and this for a "premičre" in Belgium.
The ensuring competition and show was spread over 4 days. The first day had his share of difficulties essentially due to the quite strong wind, forcing the participants to proceed to the qualification flight at the end of the day, even at nightfall.
Other unforeseen elements were the results of the tides and the markings on the ground had to be checked thoroughly before the start of the daily flights.
The aircraft apron was located nearby the seawall allowing the visitors and other tourists to admire these machines from close by. To secure the aircraft, especially for the wind, they were tied down to sand bags. All these operations needed a great deal of manpower to ensure the event to be ran flawlessly.

The competition was divided in different categories, according to the type of aircraft, however, the orange colour of the good old Stampe & Vertongen SV-4 was the dominant colour of the event.
Aircraft were regularly stuck in the sands, as the majority of them, were not equipped with appropriate wheels. Even during the engine run up, the aircraft tended to rip into the sandy soil, due to the vibrations, and the "duty jeep" had to be called on to "de-stuck" the aircraft. One of the SV-4 even nosed over, damaging the propeller and nose cowl, but these are the imponderables of such a competition.
During those 4 days, numerous movements were recorded, but always with only 3 aircraft at the same time in the circuit. During the competition flights, numerous lifeboats were on stand-by with the crews all wearing life-jackets.. Safety first !
Visitors to the event also could enjoy the various animation, such as the Belgian historical re-enactment for the RAF "Merlins" on the beach, visit the exhibit "Aviation-Art" in the Casino of Knokke, admire a Tiger Moth replica in the colours of the Belgian Aviation Flight School (BAFA) or to learn everything on the military crafts offered by the Belgian Defence at their booths.
This first edition of the "Knokke Air Trophy" was a real success and the future will tell us if such events could expand in Belgium.

 
 
Unusual show on a Belgian beach   (Philip Verhasselt©)
 (Philip Verhasselt©) (Philip Verhasselt©)

(Patrick Brouckaert©) (Patrick Brouckaert©)
 Safety first...
(Patrick Brouckaert©)
Is she one of the rescuers?
(Philip Verhasselt©)
 (Patrick Brouckaert©) (Philip Verhasselt©)
 Belgian Air Force tribute to the competition     (Philip Verhasselt©)
(Patrick Brouckaert©) (Patrick Brouckaert©)
All these operations needed a great deal of manpower   (Patrick Brouckaert©)
(Patrick Brouckaert©) (Philip Verhasselt©)
 Piper PA-18-150   (Philip Verhasselt©)
 PZL-Okecie PZL-104 Wilga 35A
(Philip Verhasselt©)
Tecnam P-92 Echo
(Philip Verhasselt©)
Focke Wulf Piaggio 149D
(Patrick Brouckaert©)
Focke Wulf Piaggio 149D
(Philip Verhasselt©)
Stampe & Vertongen SV-4c
(Philip Verhasselt©)
Stampe & Vertongen SV-4b
(Philip Verhasselt©)
Fieseler Fi156K-1 Storch
(Patrick Brouckaert©)
Boeing E75 Stearman
(Philip Verhasselt©)
Zenair CH601XL Zodiac
(Patrick Brouckaert©)
Guerin G1 Gelinotte
(Patrick Brouckaert©)
 Czech Sport Aircraft SportCruiser
(Philip Verhasselt©)
MXP-740 Savannah VG Jabiru
(Philip Verhasselt©)
 
 
STOL competition rules
 
Competition Description
1. The STOL Competition will be held over four days
2. Each pilot will be allowed a minimum of one take-off and one landing ("cycle") in the STOL Competition. There is no maximum number of cycles. The best result will be used.
3. Heats will be held on Thursday and Friday with Category Finals on Saturday and Sunday in accordance with the STOL Competition Programme
4. Aircraft can compete in the heats as often as they like - subject to programme
5. The Semi-Finals will be contested from the top 5 aircraft in each category.
6. The top two aircraft in each category will compete in the Final.
7. The Semi-final and Final will consist of two cycles for each aircraft with the best cycle to count.

Competition Technical Details
8. The Aircraft reference point is the centre of the axle of the main gear (the 'Aircraft').
9. Neither tailwheel nor nosewheel are referenced for any part of the competition.
10. Take-off roll is measured either from stopped position (STOL aircraft) or after backtracking to the ARRIVAL line for aircraft that need/want the full runway take-off distance.
11. Take-off distance will be measured from where the aircraft was stationary to where it leaves the ground for the last time (in case of a departure bounce or two).
12. Aircraft must land on or beyond the ARRIVAL line.
13. Aircraft touchdown prior to the ARRIVAL line will disqualify that cycle.
14. Aircraft must come to a full stop, pointing ahead, and remain stopped until completion of measuring. A black and white chequered flag will be held until you are clear to proceed.
15. Landing distance will be measured from the ARRIVAL line to the Aircraft.
16. Your result will be based on the best take-off and landing cycle. (i.e. the shortest combined landing and take-off distance in one cycle)
17. The first landing and last departure may not be measured.
18. Distances (landing or take-off) over 150m may be estimated.
19. It is a pilot competition, so the same aircraft may be used by different pilots with different decal (registration) numbers.

Competition Procedure

20. All competitive cycles will start and finish from Knokke Zoute International Airport
21. When ready to compete, Pilots should call Zoute Radio and request departure for 'Cycles'.
22. Radio Operator will advise when the circuit is available.
23. Maximum number of aircraft in the circuit pattern is 3.
24. Aircraft will complete a maximum of 3 cycles at a time - further cycles may be available
25. During a cycle, downwind calls will be either, 'Downwind Stop and Go', or 'Downwind Full Stop', as appropriate.
26. Aircraft completing three cycles may request to conduct further cycles if there are no other aircraft waiting to compete at that time and there is space in the circuit.
27. Aircraft Arriving and Departing Zoute Airport will be given priority over circuit traffic
28. Competition Aircraft may be advised to make a Full Stop landing and clear the runway to allow other aircraft to arrive and depart. The Competition circuits can be resumed once there is space in the circuit pattern.

Requirements
29. Your aircraft must satisfy the competition Minimum Equipment List.
30. You must have the legal minimum fuel AT ALL TIMES - random fuel tank checks may be made.
31. The organisation retains all rights to accept or disqualify any pilot/aircraft at any stage from the competition for whatever reason - without right of appeal.
32. Although advisory, it is expected that the Zoute Radio Operator's advice will be respected.
33. Pilots must operate their aircraft at all times in a responsible manner in accordance with the Belgium Air Navigation Order and as stated in the Knokke Zoute International Airport - Advice to Pilots.
34. Pilots who fail to observe the Zoute Air Trophy Competition Rules may be excluded from the Competition at the discretion of the Zoute Air Trophy Competition Director
 
14 June:
Zoute Air Trophy opens, first Qualifier rounds.
09:00 to 12:00 Short Take-Off & Landing Competition. 1st Session
17:00 to 21:00  Short Take-Off & Landing Competition. 2nd Session
15 June:
Second Qualifier rounds.
09:00 to 14:00 Short Take-Off & Landing Competition. 1st Session
18:00 to 21:00 Short Take-Off & Landing Competition. 2nd Session
 
16 June:
Vintage Biplane Competition, and other category Competitions.
09:00 to 10:00 Ad Hoc Flying
10:00 to 11:30 Vintage Biplane Finals
11:30 to 12:00 Ad Hoc Flying
12:00 to 13:30 Category Finals: >500 Kg <751 Kg
13:30 to 14:00 Category Finals: Turbine
18:30 to 21:00 Ad Hoc Flying
17 June:
Remaining Competition categories and closes with the Prize giving 
09:00 to 10:30 Ad Hoc Flying
10:30 to 11:00 Vintage Monoplanes
11:00 to 12:30 Monoplane > 750 Kg
12:30 to 13:00 Ad Hoc Flying
12:00 to 13:30 3 axis < 501 Kg - and departures
14:30 to 15:00 Departures
19:30 to 20:00 Special permit flying only
 
Maule MX-7-180AC   (Patrick Brouckaert©)
 
Sometimes the runway was...wet!
(Philip Verhasselt©)
Sometimes not!
(Patrick Brouckaert©)
Preparing the competition
(Patrick Brouckaert©)
Manual towing 
(Patrick Brouckaert©)
Here we go...
(Patrick Brouckaert©)
(Patrick Brouckaert©)
(Patrick Brouckaert©) The service towtruck
(Patrick Brouckaert©)
(Patrick Brouckaert©) Piper PA-18-95 Super Cub
(Patrick Brouckaert©)
Zlin Savage Cub
(Patrick Brouckaert©)
Carbon Cub EX
(Patrick Brouckaert©)
(Patrick Brouckaert©) (Patrick Brouckaert©)
(Patrick Brouckaert©) (Patrick Brouckaert©)
Robin DR400/180 Régent
(Patrick Brouckaert©)
(Patrick Brouckaert©)
(Patrick Brouckaert©) Zenair CH601XL Zodiac
(Patrick Brouckaert©)
Tecnam P-92 Echo
(Patrick Brouckaert©)
(Patrick Brouckaert©)
Sonaca 200  (Patrick Brouckaert©)
Small wheels are not ideal for sand
(Patrick Brouckaert©)
(Patrick Brouckaert©)
(Patrick Brouckaert©) (Patrick Brouckaert©)
Rans Coyote II
(Patrick Brouckaert©)
(Patrick Brouckaert©)
A little breakage for this SV-4b
(Patrick Brouckaert©)
Nose cowl and screw was a little bit damaged
(Patrick Brouckaert©)
(Patrick Brouckaert©)
Pipistrel Virus SW121
(Patrick Brouckaert©)
Conijn C003 Experimental
(Patrick Brouckaert©)
MXP-740 Savannah VG Jabiru
(Patrick Brouckaert©)
Quest Kodiak-100
(Patrick Brouckaert©)
Aeroprakt A.22-LS
(Patrick Brouckaert©)
B&F Technik FK-9 ELA
(Patrick Brouckaert©)
(Patrick Brouckaert©) Maule MXT-7-180
(Patrick Brouckaert©)
(Patrick Brouckaert©) Cessna FR.172-J
(Patrick Brouckaert©)
(Patrick Brouckaert©) (Patrick Brouckaert©)
(Patrick Brouckaert©) (Patrick Brouckaert©)
(Patrick Brouckaert©) Boeing E75 Stearman
(Patrick Brouckaert©)
Competition day is over...Time to secure the plane for the night
(Patrick Brouckaert©)
Tomorrow is another day...
(Patrick Brouckaert©)
  
General ranking of the competition
 
Place Number Firstname Lastname Country Category Aircraft MTOW(kg) Best distance
1 18 Jean louis Schlesser Monaco 3-Axis Aeroplane, MTOW <501KG Storch 472 28.30m
2 28 Eric grare-berthault Mauritius 3-Axis Aeroplane, MTOW <501KG Guerin G1 Gelinotte 450 30.50m
3 147 Peter Jorga Germany Monoplane, MTOW >750KG CarbonCub EX 845 34.30m
4 27 luc coesens Belgium 3-Axis Aeroplane, MTOW <501KG SAVG 475 34.91m
5 204 Kamil Skorupski Poland Monoplane, MTOW >750KG CubCrafters Carbon Cub EX 845 38.90m
6 19 Jaap Rademaker United Kingdom 3-Axis Aeroplane, MTOW <501KG Savannah VG 450 55.30m
7 16 Dirk De Jonghe Belgium 3-Axis Aeroplane, MTOW <501KG CTSW 450 76.70m
8 268 Eamonn Fogarty United Kingdom Aeroplane, MTOW >500KG  <751KG Foxbat A22 600 82.10m
9 269 Lieven Lavaert Belgium Monoplane, MTOW >750KG Maule MX7 1088 84.40m
10 198 Luc Penninckx Belgium 3-Axis Aeroplane, MTOW <501KG Zenair 601 450 91.40m
11 11 Bernard Van Milders Belgium Vintage Biplane (pre 1959) SV4B 750 117.90m
12 123 Benoît Mendes Belgium Vintage Monoplane (pre 1959) Pa18 680 136.70m
13 221 Olivier Vermeersch Belgium 3-Axis Aeroplane, MTOW <501KG Rans Coyote II 450 156.00m
14 22 Aaron Cabooter Belgium Vintage Biplane (pre 1959) SV4 780 158.20m
15 165 Geert Ardeel Belgium 3-Axis Aeroplane, MTOW <501KG P92 450 164.10m
16 179 Dirk Kierdorf Germany Monoplane, MTOW >750KG Maule MXT/-180 1134 181.90m
17 29 Inge Van Wassenhove Belgium 3-Axis Aeroplane, MTOW <501KG Tecnam P92 450 202.00m
18 112 Walter Vanbelle Belgium 3-Axis Aeroplane, MTOW <501KG BF Technik FK9 Mark IV Shortwing 472 202.80m
19 24 James Everett United Kingdom Monoplane, MTOW >750KG Aviat Husky 910 260.40m
20 148 Robert Crets Belgium 3-Axis Aeroplane, MTOW <501KG Ultralight 450 379.52m
 
 A general view of Knokke Beach to conclude  (Patrick Brouckaert©)
 

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