Spot Landing Contest Once Again Hits The Spot!

Published in Midwest Flyer Magazine October/November 2022 Digital Issue

Experienced and inexperienced pilots alike participated in this year’s “Spot Landing Contest,” September 10, 2022, at Milwaukee Lawrence J Timmerman Airport (KMWC). A young lady competed in the contest for the first time, exactly one year after she took a “Discovery Flight,” and a young man 12 years of age, also competed for the first time with his flight instructor.

Milwaukee County, which owns and operates Timmerman Airport and Milwaukee General Mitchell International Airport (KMKE), provides a grand prize of $200.00 and food and refreshments. The prize money added to the fun, but it was the challenge of the competition that lured pilots from as far as Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The contest was hosted by Spring City Aviation to promote safety and the airport.

Participants arrived at Timmerman by 10:00 a.m. for a mandatory safety briefing. The contest got underway at 10:15 a.m.

Each contestant was given two attempts to land on the white target line, or as close beyond the line as possible, and only the best landing counted. Any landing short of the line was not counted.

Pilots had their choice of executing a touch-and-go to reenter the pattern for their second attempt, or landing to a full stop, then taxiing back to takeoff again.

Power and flap adjustments could be used to make the most accurate landing, but flaps could not be raised unless executing a go-around.

Legitimate go-arounds were okay, as safety was the focus of the contest. But go-arounds were not to be used to cheat.

Jamming, slamming, or deliberately landing hard on the runway was not acceptable. Only normal, descent landings counted. The judges adjusted scores for any such landings that resulted in bouncing, side-loads or porpoising.

Only three aircraft could be in the pattern at any one time, and the judges’ decisions were final.

When it was their turn, pilots contacted Timmerman Ground and informed the controller they were participating in the contest and ready to taxi to the designated runway.
Pilots then taxied out in assigned groups of three to avoid congestion on the taxiway, but procedurally, there were no shortcuts. Pilots did their normal preflight checks and runups at the end of the runway.

The airport remained open during the competition, and participants got excellent cooperation from the tower. Transient aircraft were given the right-of-way, so as not to disrupt normal airport operations.

This year’s winners were:

Zach Davies of Waukesha, Wis., 1st place with a distance of 8 feet (middle in black).
Sam Treffinger of Mukwonago, Wis., 2nd place with a distance of 11 feet (far left in blue).
Curtis Sweeney of Oshkosh, Wis., 3rd place with a distance of 12 feet (middle in green).
Ryan Krueger of Waukesha, Wis., who nearly had a perfect landing but bounced slightly just before the line, received honorable mention (pictured far right in blue).

For a firsthand look at the contest, watch the livestream:

In addition to the “Spot Landing Contest” in September, Milwaukee County also sponsors a “Flour Drop Contest” in June.

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