Airport board sets date for ‘Doug Yost Challenge’

Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Planes will converge on the NWIA Regional Airport for the Doug Yost Challenge — an aerobatic competition from Aug. 3-5.
Daily Reporter File Photo

The NWIA Regional Airport Board of Trustees voted to approve the date for the Doug Yost Challenge — an aerobatic competition — at the Spencer airport from Aug. 3-5. The airport has hosted the event for over six years, which attracts aviation super-fans of all ages each year.

“This has been going on I think for (around) seven years (in Spencer),” Gayle Brandt, director of airport services, said. “They used to have it in Austin, Minnesota, (before) it came to Spencer, it’s been here ever since. This is a competition that is held in a box above the Spencer airport — an imaginary box if you will — (of) 2,000 square feet.”

Brandt said the event is mostly attended by the hardcore aviation fans due to the aerobatics being performed for a panel of judges, however she noted that there are local fans that pull up a lawn chair to enjoy the show each year.

“People come from a variety of places, we’ve had people come from as far away as California and Florida,” Brandt said. “The majority of people come from a five-state range.”

Brandt said competitors are typically as varied as the crowd.

“I would say that you’ll probably average 25-35 participants, (and around) 20 airplanes,” Brandt said. “The pilots flying planes (will include) guys and gals, a mix of students to people of age in their 50s and 60s. (Some of the teams) will include the University of North Dakota, University of Dubuque.”

For more information about the competition, call 262-1000.

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