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Embry-Riddle Flight Teams Dominate Regional Contests from Coast to Coast
Prescott, Fla., November 19, 2009
On Saturday evening, Nov. 14, 2,200 miles apart in San Diego, Calif., and Jacksonville, Fla., the Golden Eagles and Eagles flight teams representing Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University dominated their respective regional competitions, winning in flight, ground, and overall team categories in regional Safety and Flight Evaluation Conference (SAFECON) competitions held by the National Intercollegiate Flying Association (NIFA).
"These victories are just another indication of Embry-Riddle's dominance in aviation and aerospace," said Frank Ayers, executive vice president at the university's campus in Prescott, Ariz., and former chair of flight training at the Daytona Beach, Fla., campus.
Prescott all-glass cockpit aircraft
The Eagles are based at Embry-Riddle's East Coast campus in Daytona Beach. The Golden Eagles hail from the West Coast campus in Prescott.
Both teams fly the Embry-Riddle "all-glass cockpit" fleet of Cessna 172s, the most advanced in collegiate aviation.
The Eagles and Golden Eagles will be fighting for national championship honors at the NIFA SAFECON national competition May 17-22, 2010, in Terre Haute, Ind.
Embry-Riddle's Golden Eagles decisively won in Region II with a total of 357 points, more than twice the points of the second-place finisher.
"This team wanted to make a statement this year, and they set very high goals for the competition" said Matt Waterhouse, the Golden Eagles' head coach. "I think members will stay focused on areas to improve individually and as a team, which will help them stay motivated to bring back the national championship next May." The Golden Eagles won the national championship in 1993, 1997, 1999, 2003, 2005, 2007, and 2008.
Embry-Riddle's Eagles flight team dominated in Region IX with 341 points overall, tripling the score of their nearest competitor.
"The hard work and dedication of our team really paid off," said Les Westbrooks, the Eagles' head coach. "Embry-Riddle's education gives these students the knowledge to do well in competitions, but it requires hard work, practice, and the university's support for them to dominate at regional competitions like this. We look forward to the challenge of competing with the best schools in the nation at the national competition next year in Terre Haute." The Eagles won the national championship in 1992.
At their regional meet, the Prescott campus's Golden Eagles won several honors. William Jacobson was named the competition's Top Pilot; Kisa Wiley was named Top Female Pilot; and Ian Hummell was voted the Outstanding Team Member by his teammates. Embry-Riddle also brought home the Team Navigation Trophy and the Team Safety Trophy.
At their regionals, the Daytona Beach campus's Eagles saw Steve Pellegrino named Top Pilot. The Eagles also took the top three places in Computer Accuracy, SCAN, Short Field Landings, and the Navigation team event.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the world's largest, fully accredited university specializing in aviation and aerospace, is a nonprofit, independent institution offering more than 40 baccalaureate, master's and Ph.D. degree programs in its colleges of Arts and Sciences, Aviation, Business and Engineering. Embry-Riddle educates students at residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Prescott, Ariz., and through the Worldwide Campus with more than 150 locations in the United States, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. 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 http://www.embryriddle.edu, follow us on Twitter (@EmbryRiddle) and facebook.com/EmbryRiddleUniversity, and find expert videos at YouTube.com/EmbryRiddleUniv.