Southwest Winter Pattern Championships

Superstition Pattern Classic

February 23-25, 2024

Mesa, Arizona

Desert Pattern Challenge

March 1-3, 2024

Florence, Arizona


The Superstition Pattern Classic and Desert Pattern Challenge are 3-day AMA pattern contests held on back-to-back weekends in the Phoenix, Arizona area. Each is a standalone pattern contest, and together they make up the Southwest Winter Pattern Championships where the best combined finish in each class is named the series Champion.

Held in late February and early March, they offer a great winter vacation destination with a temperate climate and plenty to do in the area outside of the contests. You'll see top level flying as some of the best in the country attend these contests, often including current World Championship team members.

Come on out for one or both!


Each class will fly 6 rounds, weather permitting. All classes will fly their 2025 sequences. All pilots will be expected to judge other classes except for Sportsman pilots, who are not required to judge. Mid-air avoidance will be allowed.

While Masters and FAI Silver will both fly the P25 sequence, the rules will otherwise remain the same as in the past. Takeoffs and landings will be judged in Masters, and will not be judged in FAI Silver.

Both contests will use the same format and general schedule.

Class Sequence Judging Required Takeoff/Landing Judged
Sportsman* Sportsman 25 No Yes
Intermediate Intermediate 25 Yes Yes
Advanced Advanced 25 Yes Yes
Masters P25 Yes Yes
FAI Silver P25 Yes No
FAI 4 x P25, 2 x F25 Yes No

*Any AMA legal airplane is allowed in Sportsman, excluding those requiring Turbine or Large Model Airplane program waivers by the AMA.


** Schedule Changed for the Desert Pattern Challenge -- March 1-3 **
All Day
Open Practice
7:30 AM
Open Practice and Registration
11:30 AM
Pilots Meeting
12:00 PM
Rounds 1-2
7:30 AM
Open Practice
10:30 AM
Rounds 3-4
7:30 AM
Open Practice
10:30 AM
Rounds 5-6

Competition rounds will start on Friday and continue through Sunday. The field will be open to practice Friday morning. A pilots meeting will be held at 11:30 A.M. Friday, with the first round starting at 12:00 P.M. We will try to get 2 rounds in on Friday, and rounds 3-4 Saturday. If we are not able to complete round 2 on Friday, it will be finished on Saturday. We aim to get through round 4 on Saturday. We will try to get all 6 rounds in, weather permitting, including going into the afternoon on Sunday if possible.

The schedule is subject to change based on weather, entries, and other factors. Be ready to fly starting Friday morning through Sunday afternoon to participate in all rounds.

Championship Series

The Southwest Winter Pattern Championship Series will award the best combined placing in each class with the Series Championship.

Championship Rules
  • Lowest cumulative placing for each class will win
  • Pilots must compete in both contests, in the same class
  • Ties will be broken by:
    • The highest placing in either contest
    • The highest cumulative score across both contests (using final scores from each contest, which excludes dropped rounds)
  • Awards will be given only to the top placer in each class


Superstition Pattern Classic

Entry Fee: Sportsman $25, all other classes are $50

Academy of Model Aeronautics and FAA registration required to compete.

Camping is available with a reservation for $10/night, no hookups. Contact us to indicate your desire to camp at the field and for more information

Register Here

Desert Pattern Challenge

Entry Fee: Sportsman $25, all other classes are $50

Academy of Model Aeronautics and FAA registration required to compete.

Camping is available with a reservation for $10/night, no hookups. Contact us to indicate your desire to camp at the field and for more information

For those wanting to practice outside of the times allotted for the contests, a 30-day membership to Florence Aeromodelers can be purchased for $20. Contact for information and to obtain the membership.

Register Here

Flying Fields

Superstition Pattern Classic

Superstition Airpark is a first class facility within the Usery Mountain Park in the East Valley of the Phoenix area. With an 800 ft x 85 ft paved runway, large asphalt paddock, 250 ft of covered Ramada, and ample table room it provides a convenient, picturesque flying experience.

Superstition Airpark
Meridian Dr and Levee Rd
Mesa, AZ 85220.

GPS coordinates: N33 26.708 W111 34.845

Location, Directions, and Weather

Desert Pattern Challenge

Located southeast of the Phoenix Metro area, Bohn Field is home to the Florence Aero Modelers. On Highway 79 across from the Charles A. Whitlow Rodeo Park, Bohn field offers a large paved runway, ramada, and setup tables.

Bohn Field is located on Hwy 79, 2 miles South of Florence at mile marker 130.

If using GPS it is best to enter 'Charles A. Whitlow Rodeo Park', which is directly across the highway.

Amenities and Recreation

Arizona has a temperate climate this time of year and offers a wealth of recreational and tourist opportunities, making it a great winter vacation for families, and for competitors to spend time during the week between the contests. Available activities include hiking and biking in multiple nearby mountain ranges, MLB's Spring Training, Jeep tours, many historical and geographical attractions, and more.