Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Prescott, Ariz., Campus’ Golden Eagles Flight Team captured its 11th national championship title against 28 of the nation’s top colleges with aviation programs this past week at the 2017 National Intercollegiate Flying Association (NIFA) Safety and Flight Evaluation Conference (SAFECON) competition in Columbus, Ohio.
The annual competition, held May 9-14 this year at Ohio State University, brings together collegiate aviation teams from around the United States to compete in flight and ground events such as navigation, computer accuracy, preflight inspection and more. Four out of the Top 10 Scorers in the individual category were students from Embry-Riddle’s teams representing its two residential campuses – more than any other students from competing universities which included the United States Air Force Academy, the University of North Dakota, Purdue University, Florida Institute of Technology, Ohio State University, Western Michigan University and others.
Prescott’s Golden Eagles finished with 500 points, the highest in the team’s history. They also won all team-based honors including the coveted Judges Championship Trophy, Flight Events Championship Trophy and the Ground Events Championship Trophy.
Team captain Nick Moore dominated individual events as No. 1 in Top Scoring Contestants and Short-Field Landing categories and earned the Top Pilot Award, placing in the top 10 in seven categories. Overall, the Golden Eagles Flight Team and individual team members finished in the top 10 in 17 of the competition’s 20 categories, including the Regional Top Pilot Award for Rachel Hutzell. Other first-place winners in the individual categories include Matthew Hallock in Aircraft Recognition, Jacob Cobian in Computer Accuracy and Chin-An Lin in Power-Off Landing.
“I am very happy to have received Top Scoring Contestant and Top Pilot awards. However, I would have not been able to do so without the team members and mentors that pushed me throughout the last three years,” said Moore. “It takes a team to put up 500 points and win a championship, and this group really pulled through.”
“Embry-Riddle congratulates its outstanding flight teams in Arizona and Florida on their continuing impressive achievements,” said P. Barry Butler, president of the University. “The success of the Golden Eagles reflects our institution’s commitment to excellence in aviation. These competitors have inspired us to pursue even greater heights.”
With the 2017 top title, Prescott’s Golden Eagles have now won the NIFA SAFECON national championship 11 times since 1993. The team also has an unbroken 33-year record as regional champion.
Under Coach Sam Morris and team mechanic and coach Farrell Harris, the Prescott Golden Eagles team consists of Stephen Anderson, Bat-Amgalan “Bella” Batbileg, Kamia Bradley, Shannon Burns, Jacob Cobian, Kevin Fickenscher, Daniel Fierro, Jason Fung, Matthew Hallock, Colin Ho-Tseung, Rachel Hutzell (co-captain), Colin Kennedy, Benjamin Klinkman-Sinatra, Daniel Lee, Chin-An Lin, Weichih Lin, Matthew Masangcay, Madeline Mearsch, Nick Moore (captain), Ryan O’Connor, Arinola Ojehomon, Anthony Platt, Anthony Rebel and Spencer Thomas.
“I am extremely proud of this year’s team,” said Golden Eagles Coach Sam Morris. “The 11th win for the Golden Eagles Flight Team was due, in no small part, to the highest level of dedication and perseverance from its members. The team lived up to its creed demonstrating competitive superiority and leaving a legacy of pride. This team is something extraordinary, and the combined effort of its members and student leadership is what resulted in one of the biggest margins the team has ever won by.”
For the complete list of the NIFA SAFECON national competition results, go to https://nifa.aero/safecon-2017-results/
About Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the world’s largest, fully accredited university specializing in aviation and aerospace, is a nonprofit, independent institution offering more than 80 baccalaureate, master’s and Ph.D. degree programs in its colleges of Arts & Sciences, Aviation, Business, Engineering and Security & Intelligence. Embry-Riddle educates students at residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Prescott, Ariz., through the Worldwide Campuswith more than 125 locations in the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, and through online programs. The university is a major research center, seeking solutions to real-world problems in partnership with the aerospace industry, other universities and government agencies. For more information, visit www.embryriddle.edu, follow us on Twitter (@EmbryRiddle) and facebook.com/EmbryRiddleUniversity, and find expert videos at YouTube.com/EmbryRiddleUniv.
About NIFA SAFECON
The National Intercollegiate Flying Association SAFECON is a national championship flying competition for collegiate teams from across the country. NIFA was formed to develop and advance aviation education; to promote safety in aviation; to foster communications and cooperation between aviation students, educators, educational institutions and the aviation industry; and to provide an arena for collegiate aviation competition. For more information, go to nifa.aero