UND Flying Team wins top honors in regional SAFECON competition (U-Letter, 10/20/15 – Jan Orvik)
Region 5 Champions from left to right: Timothy Nicosia, Cooper Pallasch, Alex Browne, Steven Kinney, Mitchell Rufer, Justin Therriault, Dana Atkins, Ben Eidem, Glenn Dodd, Justin Bauer, Austin Waite.
UND student pilots win top-scoring individual male and female rankings
The University of North Dakota Flying Team won the top spot by a commanding lead in the 2015 Region V SAFECON competition held recently in Madison, Wis.
The team won enough awards — both team and individual in both flight and ground events — to fill a Cessna 172, the kind that UND uses to train pilots.
The UND Flying Team won the overall competition with a total score of 863 points, 328 points ahead of the No. 2-ranked team.
UND pilot Justin Bauer nailed the No. 1 spot as “Top Pilot,” with five other UND pilots placing in the top 10; Bauer also was the Top Scoring Male Contestant and the Top Scoring Contestant, with several other UND students placing in the top 10 in both of those categories.
In the Top Scoring Female Contestant category, UND pilot Dana Atkins took the No. 1 spot.
UND also was awarded the Judges Trophy.
“This is a good indication of the team depth,” said Lewis Liang, a UND John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences faculty member and the Flying Team’s faculty Advisor.
“The team was solid and worked well together during this regional competition,” said Liang, who teaches in the school’s Department of Aviation. “We have a long road to National competition that will be in Dublin OH next May.”
The UND Flying Team has consistently ranked in the top five in both regional and national competitions.
This year’s UND Flying Team comprises the following students, in alphabetical order (name, home town, major):
Dana Atkins, Sycamore, Ill., aviation management
Justin Bauer, Sussex, Wis., commercial aviation
Alex Browne, Nazareth, Penn., aviation management
Glenn Dodd, Eden Prairie, Minn., aviation graduate student
Ben Eidem, Ossining, N.Y., air traffic control
Steven Kinney, Minneapolis, commercial aviation and aviation management
Tim Nicasia, Federal Way, Wash., commercial aviation
Cooper Pallasch, Tiverton, R.I., commercial aviation
Mitchell Ruger, DeForest, Wis., airport management and air traffic control
Justin Therrieault, North Pole, Alaska, commercial aviation
Austin Waite, Bainbridge Island, Wash., commercial aviation
This year’s regional SAFECON competition was hosted by the University of Wisconsin in Madison.
Official results can be reviewed at www.nifa.aero web page under schools and competition archives.
About the UND Flying Team:
The UND Flying Team is a member of the National Intercollegiate Flying Association, the sanctioning body for the regional and national SAFECON competitions. SAFECON places a special emphasis on safety of flight operations. The team consists of volunteering aviation student body members who have made a commitment of time and effort to be a part of the team. The team participates in two competitions annually: a regional qualifying competition and the national competition to determine the national championship.