AWARd & contest winners

Each year pilots go above and beyond competing in various contests and events. Click on each topic to see who won.


Early Bird Award

(first pilot-in-command to arrive at Galesburg Municipal Airport for the 2021 Fly-In who remained for the duration)

Marie Spear arrived September 1, 2021 at 11:45 a.m. from Kenosha, WI in Stearman N57950.

Longest Cross-Country

(awarded to the pilot whose direct route from his or her home airport to Galesburg was the longest in a Stearman) was a tie:

Ken Horowitz flew 1,936 sm from Bremerton, WA, in Stearman N1936M. And Tom Rodgers flew 1.936 sm from Grapeview, WA in Stearman N5404N.

Longest Voyage (Special Award):

Presented to Hans Nordsiek, Bergeyk, The Netherlands. Stearman “Old Crow” N9912H wasdisassembled, transported via a container cargo ship from the Netherlands to the United States,reassembled and flown to Galesburg, IL.

Youngest Pilot

(awarded to the youngest pilot who, acting as pilot-in-command, landed a Stearman upon its arrival for the 2021 Fly-In)

Ben Thomas, 20 years old, born August 20, 2001, Starkville, MS, Stearman N36PH.

Most Vintage Pilot

(awarded to the oldest person who, acting as pilot-in-command, landed a Stearman upon its arrival for the 2021 Fly-In)

Nick Sager, May 5, 1938, 83 years old, Granbury, TX, Stearman N64602 “Puckered Penguin”.

Newest Restoration

Presented to the owner of the Stearman whose restoration was completed closest to the date of the presentation of this award

N33NA, first flight June 6, 2021, Roger Brown, Port Saint Lucie, FL.

Hard Luck Award

Stearman N347KF, Paul Fries, Buffalo Grove, IL.

Kaydet Award

For excellence in restoration of Army Stearmans

N9686F, John Rettick, Bloomington, IL.

Yellow Peril Award

For excellence in restoration of Navy Stearmans

N4939N, Blake Anderson, The Villages, FL.

Best Civilian

For excellence in restoration of civilian Stearmans

NC799H 1931 Stearman C3R, Tom & Nancy Lowe, Crystal Lake, IL.

Best Custom

In recognition of creativity and workmanship on custom Stearmans

N450CJ, Chad Johnson, Houston,TX.

Best Military Custom

In recognition of creativity and workmanship on military customer Stearmans

N74031, Mike Turner, Cartersville, GA.


Short-Field Takeoff (Stock Engines)

(shortest distance from start of take-off roll until airborne)

First: N75NM, Nick Mirales, 329 ft;

Second: N54653, Bob Pingston, 350 ft;

Third: N42DB, Daniel Wolford, 415 ft.

Short-Field Takeoff (275- to 300-horsepower engines)

(shortest distance from start of take-off roll until airborne)

First: N9912H, Hans Nordsiek, 415 ft;

N6135, Tom Landon, 425 ft;

N58219, George Madok, 500 ft.

Short-Field Takeoff (450-horsepower engines)

(shortest distance from start of take-off roll until airborne)

First: N806RB, Brian Aukes, 271 ft;

Second: N555BR, Mathew Sawhill, 274 ft;

Third: N51875, Coleman Fait, 313 ft.

Rescue Drop

(for the flour bomb dropped closest to the center of the target)

First: N1370V, Jim Ratliff, pilot and Sue Anderson, bombardier, 30 ft 8 in;

Second: N54653, Bob Pingston, pilot and bombardier, 49 ft;

Third: N51876, Coleman Fait, pilot and bombardier, 59 ft 5 in.

Precision Landing Contest

(for landing closest to a designated line)

First: N60657, Cal Tax, 75 ft;

Second: N66417, Mike Lowe, 100ft;

Third: N33NA, Roger Brown, 115 ft.

Aerobatic Competition

First: N555BR, Matthew Sawhill;

Second: N74031, Mike Turner;

Third: N63806, Bob Swint.

Formation Competition – 4 Ship

First: Scorpions: N66301, Chuck Marshall; N64W, Rick Lutes; N59457, Vic Syracuse; N60657, Cal Tax.

Second: Clydesdales: N802RB, Ric Woldow; N69249, Dan Sokolowski; N555BR, Matthew Sawhill;N806BR, Brian Aukes.

Third: Gumbo Flight: N53255, Shannon Elliot; N62241, Ryan Elliot; N5143N,Philip Grice; N75R, Robby Grice.

Poker Run

First: N42PW, Phil Webb – Three of a Kind, 3 threes;

N59791, John O’Malley – Two Pairs, kings and fives;

N60657, Cal Tax – Two Pairs, jacks and twos.


Lloyd Stearman Award

Presented to a Stearman documented to be of significant importance in the Stearman Aircraft Company’s history, or one that has been restored to replicate or preserve the historic accuracy of a civilian or military Stearman

Stearman N69389, Doug Moore, Noblesville, IN.

Bill Adams Memorial Foundation Award

In recognition of sustained effort that contributed measurably to the continued success of the National Stearman Fly-In and greater Stearman community

Tom Lowe, Co-founder of the National Stearman Fly-In, and SRA President for 20 years.

The award was presented by SRA Vice President, Brett Anderson, and read as follows:

Over the last 50 years, the NSFI has earned a reputation as the best vintage airplane destination anywhere in the world; there is no status among attendees, Stearman owner or not, everyone here tonight is family.

The gathering we’ve enjoyed this week couldn’t have been possible without the strong and loyal support of the people of Galesburg and surrounding communities. Unbeknownst to Stearman pilots, it apparently takes more than flying airplanes to make the fly-in successful and a cherished part of Galesburg.

What we see parked outside this hangar tonight is the result of 50 years of initiative, persistence, and pure passion for people and Stearmans. We didn’t arrive at the 50th National Stearman fly in without visionary leadership and an incredible amount of work. The camaraderie we share this evening is the direct result of co-founder and Galesburg resident Jim Leahy turning to Tom Lowe and saying, “We ought to get the Stearmans together.” Two men and two Stearmans started all this.

Nothing goes from concept to greatness without leadership, direction and significant personal effort. Tonight’s Bill Adams award winner has served on the Board of Directors since its inception and has filled every officer position except for Treasurer. He was also the President of the Stearman Restorers Association for 20 years. He has been a Stearman owner and ambassador for the Stearman community for over 50 years. Lastly...he co-founded Stearman of the NSFI along with Jim Leahy who passed away in1995.

On behalf of the Stearman Restorer’s Association and all of us in the Stearman community - I’m proud to present the 2021 Bill Adams Memorial Award to Tom Lowe.

Made It Happen Award

What Stearman burned the most fuel during the 2021 National Stearman Fly-In during a specified time period (Monday, Sept. 6, through 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 11). Presented by Ric and Lisa Woldow in memory of Don Grundstrom.

Stock category: N59457, Vic Syracuse, Locust Grove, GA; 159 gallons.

301+ hp category: N555BR, Matthew Sawhill, Ankeny, IA: 157.3 gallons.

Total Stearman fuel consumed during the award time period was 2624.4 gallons.