FLIGHT TEAM RANKING AND AWARDS
Christian Flight Team Places 4th
The San Diego Christian Flight Team returned Saturday after
competing in the Region 2 collegiate flying championships. They placed 4th in the
annual competition at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Five teams
from college aviation programs in California and Arizona fought for the title
in Region 2 at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, AZ February
4-8th. San Jose State, Mount San Antonio College, Cypress
College, Embry-Riddle and SDC competed in both ground and flight events in the
Safety and Flight Evaluation Conference (SAFECON).
Twelve teams competed in Region 1 and Region 2 to receive bids to
the national championships. Those in Region 1 were from Montana, Idaho,
Wyoming, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico. Those in Region 2 were schools from
California, Arizona and Nevada. Only the top 3 teams from each region advanced
to the nationals.
The winner from Region 2 was Embry-Riddle, the current reigning
national champion in the National Intercollegiate Flying Association (NIFA),
and the winner from Region 1 was the US Air Force Academy.
The Hawks took a large, but inexperienced team to the
championships this year, half of which were first year students. Senior Sean
Conlan was the highest-ranking pilot placing 3rd overall
followed by the Team Captain Michael Elm at 16th, Matthew
Carter 29, and Mike Visnovsky, 30.
Top female pilot was Blandy Castro who finished 3rd,
followed by Becky Uecker 4th, and Kayla Harder, who
tied Bryanna Raue for 6th place.
SDC came out strongest in the Power-Off Spot Landing. Michael Elm
and Sean Conlan finished 4th and 5th
consecutively. Sean and Matthew Carter placed 2nd in the
Navigation event, and Sean and Bryanna Raue placed 2nd in
Team Captain Michael Elm and Sean Conlan won the Safety Award
recognizing SDC’s excellence in flight operations safety. Sean and
Michael’s safety presentation to a panel of judges was deemed the winner and we
believe it is the first time SDC has won this event in recent years.
SDC Flight Team believes their Christian example is one of the most
powerful testimonies they can provide to their fellow competitors. It did not
go unnoticed and the Hawks won the Red Baron Team Sportsmanship Award for the
second year in a row.
The competition in Prescott, AZ was marked by cold winds and
biting temperatures for most of the week. The airport’s 5000-foot elevation
meant lower performance for our Cessna 150, affectionately known as “Juliet.”
Juliet was also plagued with some mechanical problems. Replacing a broken
mixture cable caused the Hawks spot landing team to miss critical practice
landings at the high altitude airport. Practicing landings in the gusty,
tricky wind conditions in the Prescott Valley is essential to the all–important
spot landings. Team Captain Michael Elm, who placed 4th in the
Power-Off spot landing, said “Juliet broke Sunday morning before we could get
more than a couple runs in so we couldn’t get a feel for the gusty winds. That
made it tough for everybody because we needed to gain familiarity with the
runway we will be landing on and we didn’t get a chance this time.” Captain Elm
said it is very important to get used to the flying conditions before
competition, but he was very proud of the effort his team made.
“Winning the Sportsmanship award was really important because it
validated all the work the younger kids on the team put in to make the flying
events successful,” said Bryanna Raue. “If it weren’t for Rob Spicer and Mike
Visnovsky and the non-flying ‘Penguins’ helping to move the aircraft we could
Robert Spicer was voted “Outstanding Team Member” by his
teammates. The team returned Saturday night but had to leave Juliet in Arizona
due to a rough running magneto.
Congratulations to the 2013-2014 SDC Hawks Flight Team! Although
we will not be going to the national championships at Ohio State University
this year, the team will continue to prepare for regionals next fall. SDC will
be hosting the 2014-2015 Regional championships on November 12-16th at
Gillespie Field in El Cajon, CA.
San Diego Christian (SDC) Flight Team is in Prescott, Arizona
this week competing in the Region II college flying championships hosted by
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. This year’s team, led by senior Flight
Team Captain Michael Elm includes: Hunter Blackwell, Kendra Brabec,
Matthew Carter, Blandy Castro, Sean Conlan, Megan Dombrowski, Aaron Giannetto,
Kayla Harder, Thomas Powers, Bryanna Raue, Robert Spicer, Kenny Travis, Rebecca
Uecker, and Michael Visnovsky. Karinne Russo was unable to make the trip
due to the flu.
VIEW PHOTO SLIDESHOW
Part of the team drove to Prescott on Saturday in a RV
graciously loaned to the team by Kevin and Debbi Eggleston. The others flew
over in the competition airplanes.
The weather has been cold and windy, with wind chills during the
morning in the low teens. This morning dawned with snow just above the airport
level with threatening clouds surrounding Prescott Valley. Despite these
conditions, all competitions were completed.
Your SDC Flight Team will be returning next week – after
thawing out from the below freezing temperatures this week. Hopefully the team
will do well and earn an invitation to the national college flying
championships at the Ohio State University in Columbus Ohio next May. Only the
top 3 teams will earn a slot at nationals. This was a unique combined event
with 11 total teams from Region I (CA, AZ & NV) and Region II (CO, UT,
Keep the team in prayer this weekend for their return both on
the highway and in the air as inclement weather makes flying difficult between
Arizona and California.
SDC Flight Team works hard to excel in the field of Aviation.
They have been planning and practicing for SAFECON (Safety and Flight
Evaluation Conference) since August and will be hosting the 5 colleges in our
region next November at Gillespie Field.
If you are interested in finding ways to support the SDC Flight
Team, you may contact Captain Denny Breslin.
FLIGHT TEAM COMPETITION LINE UP:
marked the beginning of the competition with ground events,
SCAN, E6B, and Aircraft Identification. Ground events are all about flight
planning questions using complicated formulae to solve multi-level problems
involving airplanes, federal regulations and technique. Each team has five
competitors in the ground events.
is when flying events begin with the Navigation event. Each
college has 3 “Nav” teams that fly a pre-determined route of about 100
miles comparing actual time and fuel used to the estimates made in pre-flight
is the big day featuring two kinds of spot
landings – Power-Off and Short-Field. As the name implies, pilots cut
power a mile from the runway on the downwind leg, and glide to land on a line
painted in the middle of a 300 foot landing box on the runway. Judges along the
runway mark how far planes land from the line and the pilots with the lowest
cumulative distance in two flights is the winner. For the Short-Field spot
landings, pilots can use power, but must land power-off on the line.
is the Message Drop event where pilots fly over the runway at
200 feet and 100 mph dropping a small box with a streamer attached to land on a
target on the runway. Similar to “bombing,” message drop tests pilot’s
ability to judge wind drift from the plane and hitting the target is
harder than it looks.
Friday ends with the results from the competition tabulated
will begin at noon with an awards luncheon where the winners
will be announced.