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ERAU Student Flight Team Wins Eleventh National Championship

The Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Prescott Campus Golden Eagles Flight Team has captured its 11th national championship title against 28 of the nation’s top colleges with aviation programs at the 2017 National Intercollegiate Flying Association (NIFA) Safety and Flight Evaluation Conference (SAFECON) competition in Columbus, Ohio.

The annual competition, held May 9-14 this year at The Ohio State University, brings together collegiate aviation teams from around the United States to compete in flight and ground events such as navigation, computer accuracy, preflight inspection and more. Four out of the top 10 scorers in the individual category were students from Embry-Riddle’s teams representing its two residential campuses – more than any students from other competing universities, which included the United States Air Force Academy, the University of North Dakota, Purdue University, Florida Institute of Technology, The Ohio State University, Western Michigan University and others.

Prescott’s Golden Eagles finished with 500 points, the highest in the team’s history. They also won all team-based honors including the coveted Judges Championship Trophy, Flight Events Championship Trophy and the Ground Events Championship Trophy.

Team captain Nick Moore dominated individual events as No. 1 in Top Scoring Contestants and Short-Field Landing categories and earned the Top Pilot Award, placing in the top 10 in seven categories. Overall, the Golden Eagles Flight Team and individual team members finished in the top 10 in 17 of the competition’s 20 categories, including the Regional Top Pilot Award for Rachel Hutzell. Other first-place winners in the individual categories include Matthew Hallock in Aircraft Recognition, Jacob Cobian in Computer Accuracy and Chin-An Lin in Power-Off Landing.

“I am very happy to have received Top Scoring Contestant and Top Pilot awards. However, I would have not been able to do so without the team members and mentors that pushed me throughout the last three years,” said Moore. “It takes a team to put up 500 points and win a championship, and this group really pulled through.”

With the 2017 top title, Prescott’s Golden Eagles have now won the NIFA SAFECON national championship 11 times since 1993. The team also has an unbroken 33-year record as regional champion.

Under Coach Sam Morris and team mechanic and coach Farrell Harris, the Prescott Golden Eagles team consists of Stephen Anderson, Bat-Amgalan “Bella” Batbileg, Kamia Bradley, Shannon Burns, Jacob Cobian, Kevin Fickenscher, Daniel Fierro, Jason Fung, Matthew Hallock, Colin Ho-Tseung, Rachel Hutzell (co-captain), Colin Kennedy, Benjamin Klinkman-Sinatra, Daniel Lee, Chin-An Lin, Weichih Lin, Matthew Masangcay, Madeline Mearsch, Nick Moore (captain), Ryan O’Connor, Arinola Ojehomon, Anthony Platt, Anthony Rebel and Spencer Thomas. QCBN

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