The Aviators TV show features the Zenith STOL CH 801 in the current season (Season 4), episode 2. Following are some screen shots and caption, on location in rural Quebec, Canada, earlier this year:

No runway? No problem! We challenge the limits faced in the world of bush flying in this amazing utilitarian aircraft.

Richard Lauzon uses the STOL CH 801 to service his hunting and fishing lodge in Quebec "that quite frankly, is in the middle of nowhere. Sixty miles to the nearest human being, and the only practical way to get in and out is by airplane..."

"...but there's no runway or grass strip up here so he needs an airplane with floats in the summer and skis in the winter."

But wheel skis?  Lauzon uses his STOL CH 801 to fly south toward "civilization" to buy supplies, where he lands the plane on conventional paved runways.

Richard on why he chose the Zenith: "I had been doing research for a long time, and this is my third plane, and I wanted to get a good all-around bush plane, and I've always had 'tube and fabrics' and in the winter when they get iced up and you try to get the ice off you damage the fabric... Winter's hard on tube and fabric, so I wanted to go all-metal.

On flying the STOL CH 801 sport utility kit plane: "Your take-off procedure happens so fast that it's stick back, full flaps, full throttle, and go 1, 2, 3 and I'm airborne!"

"40 or 50 feet for the take-off... it blew me away!  Nothing like I've ever experienced before"

"You gotta be kidding me!  Oh my god! That was short!"

"One of the things I'm amazed by is the amount of space you have behind those two front seats... if you can get it in it will carry it."

"It doesn't seem to matter if I'm at gross weight or light, I'm still up in 40, 50, 60 feet... Actually the more weight I have in the back the quicker I am getting airborne!"

"I can land this thing anywhere; if I can get it in then I can get it out... these things take off like a homesick angel."

"Typical flying is 2 or 3 hundred feet above ground where I can see the moose. If I'm up at 5000 feet I don't see the moose; I don't see nothing."

"I can tell you that I really enjoyed my time flying around in the Zenith with Richard, and one thing's for sure, I've never been in an aircraft that takes off or lands any quicker than the 801...

Heading south for supplies:

These screen shots and captions are from The Aviators TV show, which is currently broadcasting Season 4 on PBS.  

The Aviators: 4.02  Richard Lauzon and his STOL CH 801 are featured in the second episode of season 4: No runway? No problem! We challenge the limits faced in the world of bush flying in this amazing utilitarian aircraft.


From The Aviators website:

The Aviators is an award-winning weekly TV series featuring interesting people, the latest aircraft, the coolest technology and the best fly-in destinations. It’s action, intensity, and adrenalin mixed with education, entertainment, and beauty. The Aviators is all-things aviation – for everyone who has ever gazed skyward.

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Comment by Tim Garrett on October 23, 2013 at 5:01pm

Nice! Too bad we couldn't have a 601XL in the same episode... ;)

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