For the ninth time and the second year in a row, the Golden Eagles flight team from Embry-Riddle’s Prescott, Ariz., campus has won the Safety and Flight Evaluation Conference (SAFECON) national competition sponsored by the National Intercollegiate Flying Association (NIFA).
Held May 6-11 at The Ohio State University Airport, the event brought together more than 300 students on 30 collegiate aviation teams from around the United States to compete in flight and ground events.
The Eagles flight team from Embry-Riddle’s Daytona Beach, Fla., campus came in fourth overall.
The Prescott team previously won the NIFA SAFECON national championship in 1993, 1997, 1999, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2012. The Daytona Beach team won the national championship in 1992 and placed second in 2009 and 2010.
“This young Golden Eagles team showed impressive competitive spirit and poise as they won their second consecutive national championship,” said Dr. Frank Ayers, chancellor of the university’s Prescott Campus.
The Prescott team was composed of team captain Andrew Nelson and competitors Julie Bales, Carl Black, Mitchell Boehle, Victor Griffin, Jace Henwood, Alex Johnson, Ian McLellan, Klyte Mills, Samuel Morris, Allison Read, Zachary Sargent, Caleb Seek, Kyle Thannisch, Cheng-Yu Tien and Cameron Wall. The team’s advisor was Dr. Jack Panosian and its coaches were Chris Dolly, Farrell Harris and Alex Tamsing.
Besides the national championship, the Prescott team also won the Judges Trophy. In other highlights, Carl Black won the National Top Pilot Award and was third in the categories of top-scoring contestant and top-scoring male contestant. Andrew Nelson won the Regional Top Pilot Award and finished in fourth place for the National Top Pilot Award. Julie Bales was fifth in the category of top-scoring female contestant.
The Daytona Beach team was composed of team captain James Blackham and competitors Travis Bellows, Luke Buckett, Yongwoo Choipark, Abhishek David, Benjamin Eve, Vivek Jadav, Ryan Leeward, Nicole Leong, Jamsheed Lovelace, Kevin Porter, Oleg Sendzyuk, Adrienne Smith, Peter Weber and Daniel Weiland. The team’s coaches were Joel Reese, Benjamin Ingraham and Phil Rademacher.
Benjamin Eve won the Regional Top Pilot Award, Jamsheed Lovelace took second place for the Men’s Achievement Award, and Adrienne Smith was third for the Women’s Achievement Award and fourth in the category of top-scoring female contestant.
The complete list of the NIFA SAFECON national competition results can be found here