Sky high with pilot Brad Wursten; STGnews Photo Gallery

ST. GEORGE – Brad Wursten, 36, of Logan, will perform aerobatics on Saturday and Sunday at the Thunder Over Utah Air Show at the St. George Municipal Airport.

Spectators will be able to watch Wursten fly his MXS-R six times during the air show. Three of those times, he will be racing a jet-powered school bus; the other three times, he will be performing his solo high-energy aerobatic routine.

Brad Wursten is just as at home upside down as he is right-side up, St. George, Utah, July 25, 2014 | Photo by John Teas, St. George News
Brad Wursten is just as at home upside down as he is right-side up, St. George, Utah, July 25, 2014 | Photo by John Teas, St. George News

“The entry to my air show act is pretty spectacular,” Wursten said. “I come in at somewhere around 280 miles an hour. It consists of about 15 rolls and four tumbles. Lots of high energy.”

Wursten developed a love for aircraft at a young age. He said he started flying model airplanes when he was 8 years old.

“I got my roots to the whole deal when I was 5 years old, when a friend of my dad’s took me flying in his Super Decathlon,” Wursten said. “He would take me for rides in the Decathlon, and it was instant. That is where it all started.”

It wasn’t until he turned 20 that Wursten pursued his pilot’s license. Two years later, he took his first aerobatic ride; three years after that, he bought an Extra 300, his first aerobatic airplane.

Wursten bought his MXS-R Aircraft back in 2010. At the time, it was set up to compete in the Red Bull air racing series. He custom designed the paint scheme and converted it back to an aerobatic airplane.

The 24-foot wingspan aircraft is all composite construction and only weighs 1,080 pounds. Powering the plane is a 385 horsepower Lycoming 540 series engine. It has a top-rated speed of 280 knots – 322 miles an hour – and cruising speed of 235 knots.

Brad Wursten performs aerobatic stunts during a practice session, St. George, Utah, July 25, 2014 | Photo by John Teas, St. George News
Brad Wursten performs aerobatic stunts during a practice session, St. George, Utah, July 25, 2014 | Photo by John Teas, St. George News

There is no instrumentation other than an engine monitor. Wursten uses a handheld GPS for cross-country navigation.

Wursten is a self-proclaimed adrenaline junkie.

“The winter months is a really rough time for me – living in northern Utah – when I can’t fly. Flying is a major stress reliever for me,” he said.

When Wursten can’t take up his stunt plane, he has a Super Cub to fly. The Cub is hardly a replacement for the MXS-R, but at least it keeps him flying.

Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery. 

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Email: jteas@stgnews.com

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.

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