Luke Penner, of Steinbach, Manitoba, won the sportsman category at the U.S. National Aerobatics Championship but he didn’t get to take home the trophy.
Second place finisher Cory Johnson was named the winner because the competition rules don’t allow non-U.S. citizens to win the competition.
Penner beat Johnson by a clear margin after completing three flights at North Texas Regional Airport in Sherman/Denison, Texas. He was the only non-American in the 17-pilot field and it was only his second competition.
He also placed first at the Midwest Aerobatics Championships in Nebraska in June.
“It was really tough but I came out on top thankfully and pulled off another win in my second time competing,” Penner told Steinbach Online. “I feel pretty good right now.”
Penner is a member of the well-known flying family that owns Harv’s Air in Steinbach and at St. Andrews Airport.
Penner flew his Pitts S2B in the competition and wants to advance to the intermediate category. Avanced and unlimited categories would require a major commitment of time and money.
“I know for sure I’d like to move up to Intermediate next year and maybe one day fly Advanced but to fly Unlimited would be quite a stretch at this point,” he said. Unlimited pilots fly ultra high performance aircraft under professional instructors and usually have corporate sponsorship