First ever Yooper Looper aerobatic flying competition to take place at K.I. Sawyer

If you look in the sky above K.I. Sawyer this Labor Day weekend, you might see planes preforming tricks at the first ever Yooper Looper, a flying contest which involves sudden changes in aircraft orientation.
Published: Sep. 1, 2021 at 6:29 PM EDT

K.I. SAWYER, Mich. (WLUC) - If you look in the sky above K.I. Sawyer this Labor Day weekend, you might see planes preforming tricks at the first ever Yooper Looper, a flying contest which involves sudden changes in aircraft orientation.

“It’s the best of our knowledge the first aerobatic contest that ever existed in the Upper Peninsula. It’s not to be confused with an air show. An air show is to impress you with smoke, speed, noise and everything else. This is what’s called precision aerobatics,” said Yooper Looper Contest Director and Competitor Roger Bentlage.

Right now, there’s eleven registered contestants from across the U.S., including Michigan, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin and Florida.

“We fly for points from judges and then we compete against each other with points and then we get trophies and bragging rights,” he said.

For Bentlage, this is only the second year of the Aerobatic club chapter at Sawyer International, and it’s already soaring to new heights.

“I didn’t realize this until later, but there’s only 40 in the entire world. So, the aerobatic community has really got their eyes on us and they’re looking forward to big things from us up here.”

Bentlage said this event may be the first of the club’s history, but he anticipates more in the years to come.

“It’s just a wonderful clean sport for lack of better words. We do it all for fun. There’s no money involved other than the cost of doing it and general aviation has grown out here by leaps and bounds.”

The Yooper Looper contest is weather dependent and is set to begin at 9 A.M Saturday with an award ceremony on Sunday.

Spectators are welcome and masks are required to go through an airport building and get to the runway.

All entry will be through the 600 building of Sawyer International on the corner of Second St. and Avenue F.

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