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UND Flying Team wins top honors in regional SAFECON competition

Posted on 10/16/2015

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.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 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.

About UND Aerospace:

UND Aerospace, which includes the Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences at the University of North Dakota and the UND Aerospace Foundation (UNDAF), is an international leader in collegiate and contract aviation education and training services flying over 115,000 hours per year in over 120 aircraft. UNDAF also has facilities in Phoenix, Arizona, in conjunction with Chandler-Gilbert Community College; and Crookston, Minnesota, with the University of Minnesota in addition to its home-base in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

With more than 1,900 students from throughout the world, the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences is the second largest college at the University of North Dakota. Undergraduate and graduate programs leading to a variety of rewarding careers in aerospace are offered through five different academic departments: aviation, atmospheric sciences, computer science, earth system science and policy, and space studies. The UND Aerospace training complex is the most technologically advanced environment for aerospace education, training and research in the world.

Juan Miguel Pedraza, Writer/Editor
National Media Relations Coordinator
Division of University & Public Affairs
University of North Dakota
O 01.777.6571 | C 701.740.1321

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