For the 30th year in a row, Embry-Riddle Prescott's 10-Time National Champion Golden Eagles Flight Team dominated the National Intercollegiate Flying Association's Safety and Flight Evaluation Conference (SAFECON) regional competition with 13 overall first-place victories, including Top Pilot and Top Scoring Contestant.
SAFECON is a national competition that brings together more than 300 students from 30 colleges and universities from across the country to vie for team and individual pilot honors. The competition develops and advances aviation education through a strong emphasis on aviation safety. The Golden Eagles Flight Team now advances to the finals, to be held May 9-14, 2017, at The Ohio State University Airport. The team won their 10th national championship at last year's competition.
The Golden Eagles participated in the Region II competition, which included a total of six teams from Arizona and California and was hosted at San Jose State University in San Jose, Calif. Six students won individual first-place awards and the team finished first overall with 385 total points. San Jose State finished second with 110 points.
"Every member stepped up to the plate and proved that we have the skill and work ethic to not only win at regionals, but to make another strong run for a national championship in May," said team captain Nick Moore.
The National Intercollegiate Flying Association (NIFA) was established to develop and advance aviation education; to promote, encourage and foster safety in aviation; to promote and foster communications and cooperation between aviation students, educators, educational institutions and the aviation industry; and to provide an arena for collegiate aviation competition.
"This impressive performance was a complete team effort and is a testament to the dedication and hard work of the team members, and the quality flight training and instruction our students receive here at Embry-Riddle's western campus in Prescott, Arizona," said Chancellor Dr. Frank Ayers.
Top finishes for individual Embry-Riddle Prescott team members include:
Top Pilot: 1st place: Rachel Hutzell
Top Scoring Contestant: 1st place: Rachel Hutzell
Aircraft Preflight Inspection: 1st place: Nick Moore
Aircraft Recognition: 1st place: Nick Moore
Computer Accuracy: 1st place: Kevin Fickenscher
Ground Trainer: 1st place: Nick Moore
Instrument Precision Flight: 1st place: Stephen Anderson
Navigation: 1st place: Ryan O'Connor and Jake Cobian
Power-Off Landing: 1st place: Jake Cobian
Simulated Comprehensive Aircraft Navigation: 1st place: Bella Batbileg
The 2016-2017 Golden Eagles Flight Team are: Captain Nick Moore, Rachel Hutzell, Jake Cobian, Maddy Mearsch, Lorenzo Cabral, Spencer Thomas, Bella Batbileg, Matthew Hallock, Stephen Anderson, Daniel Sullivan, Connor McNicholas, Kevin Fickenscher, Ben Klinkman-Sinatra, Colin Kennedy, Ryan O'Connor, Jane Possell, Shannon Burns, Daniel Lee, Becca Laub, Matthew Masangcay, Jason Fung, Colin Ho-Tseung, Kamia Bradley, Arin Ojehomon, Daniel Fierro, Anthony Platt, Josh Rebel, David Lin, Head Coach Bert Aagesen, Assistant Coaches Samuel Morris and Farrel Harris.
For the entire list of results from the 2016 Region II SAFECON, visit
For more information on the Golden Eagles Flight Team, go to www.flygoldeneagles.com.
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 Campus with 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 erau.edu, follow us on Twitter (@EmbryRiddle) and facebook.com/EmbryRiddleUniversity, and find expert videos at YouTube.com/EmbryRiddleUniv.