People's Choice Plane

Courtesy photo

Collin Caneva takes off in his 2011 CubCrafter SS during the 2023 Rocky Mountain STOL Competition at the Pinedale Airport-Ralph Wenz Field on Saturday, Aug. 12. Caneva garnered the first annual Ralph Wenz People’s Choice Award at the event. Caneva was selected for the award by a vote from spectators attending the short take-off and landing competition in person or remotely. The award is named in honor of Staff Sgt. Ralph Wenz, who was killed in a plane crash while testing cold-weather equipment in Alaska on Dec. 21, 1943, during World War II. The Wenz family reunion took place on the same weekend as the Rocky Mountain STOL Competition and the family organized the award, along with a $500 prize supplied by an anonymous donor, for a deserving pilot. The concept for the award was so popular that the National STOL Series decided to adopt the People’s Choice Award for each of its competitions, said Angela Douglas, part owner of Emblem Aviation.