The University of North Dakota (UND) Flying Team won top honors in the Region V National Intercollegiate Flying Association’s (NIFA’s) Safety and Flight Evaluation Conference (SAFECON) recently. UND’s winning score of 752points gave the UND Flying Team first place in flight events and first in ground events. This SAFECON was hosted by St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, Minnesota and consisted of teams from: University of Dubuque, Minnesota State University – Mankato, St. Cloud State University, University of Minnesota - Crookston and UND.
“The team worked hard and was ready for this air-meet,” said Lewis Liang, assistant professor of aviation and the team’s faculty advisor. “Taking first place in every event and having our two captains obtain the top two “top pilot “ spots in the region gives us a solid foundation to build on for Nationals.”
The National SAFECON competition will be held in Salina, Kansas on May 14, 2011, and hosted by Kansas State University. Thirty teams from the eleven regions around the country will compete in that National SAFECON event.
The UND Flying 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.
The UND Flying Team members who competed were David Edmonds, captain; Matthew McGrath, captain; and Jack Foley, Paul Hering, Kevin Kelm, Jacob Lange, Jon O’Malley, Scott Meyer, Lauren Peterson, Paul Valenstein, Tyler Van Heel and Chad Wilson.
The UND Flying Team is a member of the National Intercollegiate Flying Association (NIAF), the sanctioning body for the regional and national SAFECON competitions. SAFECON places a special emphasis on safety of flight operations. UND’s Flying Team has won 16 of the last 27 national competitions.