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Embry-Riddle Prescott's Golden Eagles Team Wins National Flight Competition

Prescott, AZ, and Daytona Beach, FL, May 22, 2012


The Prescott Golden Eagles flight team.

For an impressive eighth time, the Golden Eagles flight team from Embry-Riddle’s Prescott, Arizona, campus has won the National Intercollegiate Flying Association’s annual Safety and Flight Evaluation Conference national competition.

In addition, the Eagles flight team from Embry-Riddle’s other residential campus, in Daytona Beach, Florida, also had a strong finish, coming in sixth overall out of a total of 34 collegiate aviation teams from around the nation who competed May 14-19 at Kansas State University in Salina.

The Prescott Golden Eagles previously won the NIFA SAFECON national championship in 1993, 1997, 1999, 2003, 2005, 2007, and 2008. The Daytona Beach Eagles placed second in 2009 and 2010 and won the national championship in 1992.

“Our Golden Eagles have just won their eighth national championship since 1993—five times in the last 10 years alone—beating the second-place team by nearly 100 points,” said Dr. Frank Ayers, executive vice president and chief academic officer of the Prescott campus. “Even more impressive, the team often placed four to five team members in the top 20 in each event. It was an incredible team effort that reflects the excellence of Embry-Riddle’s aviation programs.”

Alex Tamsing, who led the Prescott contingent, was the top scoring contestant and the winner of the national top pilot award. In addition to team captain Tamsing, the Prescott competitors were Carl Black, Mitchell Boehle, Nicholas Clyde, Thomas Galloway, John Guidotti, William Jacobson, Alex Johnson, Mashaan Kaula, Klyte Mills, Andrew Nelson, Dylan Perreira, Zachary Sargent, Kyle Thannisch, Colin Tokarek, Brendan Vinchesi and Andrew Voss. The team’s advisors were Peter Grey and Jack Panosian and its coaches were Chris Dolly, Russell Harris and Thad Short.

“We are extremely proud of the way our young men and women competed in this year’s national competition,” said Les Westbrooks, aeronautical science professor and advisor to the Daytona Beach team. “They are the highest caliber of young people.”

The Daytona Beach team was composed of captain Michael Kelly; competitors James Blackham, Luke Buckett, Sebastian Chruszcz, Benjamin Eve, Matthew Hirlehey, Benjamin Ingraham, Matthew Kehr, Ryan Leeward, Jamsheed Lovelace, Kevin Porter, Phil Rademacher, Oleg Sendzyuk, Adrienne Smith, Amanda Sorensen, Luis Terrazas, Daniel Urbanski, Peter Weber and Matthew Demick; advisor Les Westbrooks; and coach Derek Herchko.

The top 10 Embry-Riddle winners in each category are listed below. The full list can be viewed at


Navigation (Team Event): Alex Tamsing and Nicholas Clyde (1st place), Andrew Voss and John Guidotti (8th place)

Power Off Landing: Nicholas Clyde (1), Brendan Vinchesi (2), Mitchell Boehle (5), Alex Tamsing (8)

Short Field Approach and Landing: William Jacobson (1), Alex Tamsing (9)

Message Drop: Prescott (10)

Computer Accuracy: Nicholas Clyde (3), Andrew Nelson (8)

Aircraft Recognition: William Jacobson (6), Mitchell Boehle (10)

Ground Trainer: John Guidotti (2), Brendan Vinchesi (3)

Crew Resource Management / Line Oriented Flight Training (Team Event):William Jacobson and Alex Tamsing (5)

IFR Simulated Flight: John Guidotti (1)

Trial Ground Event: Andrew Voss (2)

Simulated Comprehensive Aircraft Navigation: Kyle Thannisch (8)

Aircraft Preflight Inspection: Alex Tamsing (5)

Outstanding Team Member Award: Dylan Perreira

Flight Events Champion: Prescott (1)

Ground Events Champion: Prescott (2)

National Top Pilot Award:Alex Tamsing (1), Brendan Vinchesi (4), Nicholas Clyde (6), William Jacobson (9)

Top Scoring Male Contestant: Alex Tamsing (1), Nicholas Clyde (4), William Jacobson (8), Brendan Vinchesi (9)

Top Scoring Contestant: Alex Tamsing (1), Nicholas Clyde (4), William Jacobson (8), Brendan Vinchesi (9)

Judges Trophy: Prescott (1)

Craig Morrison Award: Nicholas Clyde (5), Alex Tamsing (7)


Navigation (Team Event): James Blackham and Benjamin Ingraham (9)

Computer Accuracy: Peter Weber (8)

Aircraft Recognition: Phil Rademacher (1), Kevin Porter (5), James Blackham (8)

Ground Trainer:Luis Terrazas (6)

Crew Resource Management / Line Oriented Flight Training (Team Event): Luis Terrazas and Matthew Kehr (6)

Trial Ground Event: Matthew Kehr (8)

Outstanding Team Member: Phil Rademacher

Ground Events Champion: Daytona Beach (4)

Judges Trophy: Daytona Beach (5)

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the world's largest, fully accredited university specializing in aviation and aerospace, is a nonprofit, independent institution offering more than 70 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, follow us on Twitter (@EmbryRiddle) and, and find expert videos at