||Sunday May 16 was a practice day. Our pilots in landing events practiced power off and short-field spot landings while others practiced for ground events and simulator events. The weather was overcast and drizzling most of the day. Pilots not involved in practice went to church at First Baptist where Pastor Mark Tobey featured SDCC pilots and officially welcomed us to their service.
Monday marked the beginning of competition. Cloudy, rainy, windy – didn’t matter, it was all inside today. After the opening ceremonies, David Garcia, Mat Belden, Titus Dinkins, Aaron Varela and Paul Martin competed in the aviation Computer Accuracy event. Using an “E6B” computer, pilots solved navigation problems in a one hour written exam. Later Kyle Loenhorst, Aaron Varela, Kyle Mayhugh, Clayton Hawley and Titus Dinkins competed in the Aircraft Identification event where a series of various aircraft from around the world are displayed for 3 seconds while students write down the type of aircraft, manufacturer, and country of origin. The final event was “SCAN” - which is a comprehensive navigation exam where navigation problems are solved under a time constraint. SCAN team was led by team captain David Garcia, Mathew Belden, Kyle Loenhorst, Titus Dinkins and Clayton Hawley. SCAN is recognized as the most difficult exam of the competition.
Today is coach and former team captain Mat Belden’s birthday so it has become a tradition to take Mathew out for sushi dinner on the Monday of SAFECON competition. This is Mathew’s final year to compete and we wish him well. He has been such a great asset to our team over the past couple years.