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ST-L Wins Grand Champion at Sun-N-Fun

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May 24, 2012
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ST-L Wins Grand Champion at Sun-N-Fun
by Jeff Deaton

Returning to SNF after a 13 year absence was a very pleasant surprise.

The event has made vast improvements since I was last there. I grand championed with my Bonanza in 07, and had become quite disappointed in the event after that when they began burning the field each year prior to the event to save money. The resulting ash that was left behind was horrible..

This year I brought “Ollie” on the 550 mile trip down the coast. Taking off in 41 degree that early am was quite cold but the ride was smooth. Sipping 4.8 -4.9 gallons a hour at 95-97 kts all the way down was quite surprising as I had only flown the aircraft previously on 1 hour trips.. At every stop, The Timber Tiger Ryan STL was a FBO hit, it was a bit surreal having everyone empty the building to come out to see “Ollie” up close.
At St Simmons, I was greeted with thumbs up, radio calls and big waves from the cockpits of the multitude of corporate jets as I taxied in.

Upon arrival at SNF, the 6 hour trip behind me, I was surrounded by people all wanting to get a look at her up close. This continued throughout the entire week. Nick and Glenn did a fantastic job of designing this timeless beauty. Max and David from Wing Works’s aviations metal fabrication was second to none… and I’ve spent the past 18 months adding important details to the aircraft and bringing her up to Grand Champion level of perfection.

The Ryan is an absolutely joy to fly and own. She has no bad tendencies that the original one could sometime reveal. I also own a 41 stearman, This is a much easier aircraft to master. At the end of the week I was humbled and honored to have won Grand champion in the plans built- homebuilt division.. Unlike my other grand champion wins, this was truly a team effort win. I could have never accomplished this without Nicks brilliant aircraft that he built, Glenn’s CAD design work, Max and David’s metal fabrication and my final finishing of the project. I can’t say enough about how lucky I feel to be the owner and caretaker of this timeless beauty. Nick at TTA is a first class individual to work with and anyone considering buying one of his kits would be completely satisfied in his support and quality.

Look for more on this adventure and “Ollie” In upcoming articles by EAA
Jeff Deaton
Wow, congratulations!

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