War Eagle Flying Team wins second place in Region IX SAFECON competition, advances to nationals

Published: November 06, 2017
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Auburn’s War Eagle Flying Team finished second in the Region IX SAFECON flying skills competition last week at the Auburn University Regional Airport as part of the National Collegiate Flying Association’s annual competition.

Sixty student pilots from Auburn, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Jacksonville University, Florida Institute of Technology and Polk State College piloted small, single-engine planes in events that included navigating a flight course; power-off landings and power-on landings in which pilots are judged on who lands closest to a line on the runway; and a message-drop event in which a balsa wood box is dropped by fellow aviation student at a target. The week also included training sessions and an awards banquet.”

Auburn and Embry-Riddle, which finished first, advanced to the national competition scheduled for May in Terre Haute, Indiana. Auburn finished ninth in the nation last year.

"It’s a great way for them to sharpen their skills and to challenge one another to be better pilots,” said Bill Hutto, director of the airport and the Auburn Aviation Center. "The camaraderie is wonderful, and we are especially appreciative for Envoy Air and Republic Air for being sponsors and bringing jets for team members and guests to tour.”

"It’s exciting to bring all these schools together,” said Spencer Dulac, competition president of the War Eagle Flying Team. "There is a pilot shortage nationwide. In addition to improving our skills, this competition helps airlines recruit top pilots.”