MELBOURNE, FLA.—Florida Tech’s Precision Flight Team, the Falcons, earned first place for Top Pilot and Safety at the National Intercollegiate Flying Association’s (NIFA) Regional Safety and Flight Evaluation Conference (SAFECON) competition held at the Daytona Beach Airport the week of Oct. 27. The team now prepares for the national competition, which will be held in Saint Louis, Missouri in May 2009.
Student Nick Blouin was named top pilot in the four-day regional competition. The Falcons also took first place in flight events and crew resource management, as well as third place in ground events and overall performance.
Other specific accomplishments included Will Rae, first place in Safety; Justin Smith and Nick Blouin, first in Crew Resource Management; Nick Blouin, Connor Shea, Tim Wing, Will Rae, Amanda Lovejoy and Richard Allabaugh among the top 10 winners in the Navigation event; Justin Smith taking first place in the Power-Off Landings event, followed by Nick Blouin in third and Will Rae in fifth place; Nick Blouin ranking first in the Power-On Landings event, with Richard Allabaugh, Connor Shea and Will Rae in the top 10; Brittany Hill and Amanda Lovejoy ranking fourth in the Message Drop event, with Chris Egan and Justin Smith taking sixth place; Richard Allabaugh, eighth in the Computer
Accuracy/E6B event; Justin Smith and Will Rae, seventh and eighth, respectively, in the Aircraft Recognition event among other awards earned by the team.
The Falcons’ team captain is Tim Wing, a senior at the College of Aeronautics. Dr. Steve Cusick is the team’s faculty advisor.
The NIFA is an intercollegiate organization of aviation colleges and universities who are involved in aviation education at the undergraduate level. The Florida Tech College of Aeronautics currently offers seven Bachelor of Science degrees. Three of these bachelor’s degrees have a flight option where students may earn FAA Pilot ratings. The university also offers three aviation-related Master’s degrees and a Ph.D in science education with a concentration in aeronautics.
PHOTO: Falcons, from left: Chris Egan, Chris Dinizio, Connor Shea, Francine Kelly, Brittany Hill, Richard Allabaugh, Justin Smith, Anthony Ferendo, Will Rae, Andy Greco, Faculty Adviser Dr. Steve Cusick, Team Captain Tim Wing, Nick Blouin, Greg Fratantaro, Amanda Lovejoy, Jeff Ciarcia, David Callender, and Shawna Boucher. Not pictured: Jessica Schlegel.