SIUC Flying Salukis win top spot in 2014 NIFA Safecon

May 21, 2014

Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s flight team took top honors at the 2014 National Intercollegiate Flying Association’s Safety and Flight Evaluation Conference (Safecon).

The Flying Salukis scored 349 points to beat out 24 collegiate flying teams at the event, which was held May 12 through 17 at The Ohio State University Airport in Columbus, Ohio. The team last won the championship in 2011.

“This is another historic moment in our aviation program’s proud tradition,” SIU Chancellor Rita Cheng said. 

The Golden Eagles of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott, Ariz., took second place with 318 points. Third place went to the UND Flying Team, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, N.D., which scored 317 points. In fourth place was Western Michigan University’s Sky Broncos with 283 points. Liberty University, Lynchburg, Va., took fifth place with 221 points.

Colleges earn points toward the top award for each student who places in a Safecon event. The teams complete ground and flight events, including navigation, message drop, power-off landings, and short-field landings. Ground events include tests on aircraft recognition, cross-country flight planning, and flight computer accuracy, as well as an aircraft preflight inspection competition and IFR flight using a simulator.

Liberty’s Zachary D. Floto won the top pilot award for 2014, with a total score of 98. He also was the top-scoring male contestant. The top-scoring female contestant was Karyn A. Wojcik, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, with 21 points.

Complete Safecon results are available online. For more information about NIFA, see the website.

Jill W. Tallman

Jill W. Tallman | AOPA Technical Editor, AOPA

AOPA Technical Editor Jill W. Tallman is an instrument-rated private pilot who owns a Piper Cherokee 140.