The SAFECON national championships this year are hosted by Indiana State University in Terre Haute IN. There are 29 competing colleges from all over the country, down from 38 last year. There are about 500 competitors representing the best collegiate aviators from their regions in the US. Usually the top 2 or 3 teams from each region are invited to nationals. This is the second year in a row the SDCC Hawks Flight Team has earned a slot in the national championships. The championships start May 17 and conclude May 23 with the awards banquet. Here is an account of our adventure... Flight Team Blog
SAFECON 2010 – Awards and Standings
SAFECON 2010 is now in the record books. The journey to a national championship is long and involved. Preparation for the May championships starts the moment the Flight Team first meets in August. It is difficult work for Advisors, coaches and most importantly, the student-competitor pilots who must make it happen. The most important message to my pilots is that the NIFA competition will sharpen their skills and make them better pilots. It will also provide an unforgettable adventure and invaluable experience flying across the country. It will make an impressive addition to their resume and serve them well in whatever aviation career they pursue.
Where we did well, it was gratifying to know the hard work paid off. Where we fell short, we know the shortcomings are the result of training deficiencies and lack of repetitive practice. Part of that is because training expenses come out of pocket and no SDCC pilot can afford to do very much practice when airplanes cost $120 per flight hour. Most competing NIFA schools have a Flight Team budget that covers the cost of practices. One school has a budget of over $50,000 for their Flight Team. Several schools arrive at SAFECON a week ahead of time and practice every day. So SDCC is at a disadvantage to those schools but we know we can do better than we did.
Our performance in certain events was better than last year, and we scored double the points we earned in 2009. The highlight of the rain and storm-affected competition was David Garcia and Titus Dinkin’s 5th place in Message Drop. This is the first time an SDCC pilot has earned a medal in competition.
We are proud of our team and thankful for the support and donations that allowed our team to compete on such an important and challenging level. We also want to thank – and words cannot do it adequately – the members of the First Baptist Church of North Terre Haute for their support in both materiel and prayer. Without accommodations, dinners and the vehicle they provided for team transport, we could not have afforded the enormous expense of transporting and competing so far away. So thank you Lyn Cunning, Pastor Mark Mobey, and the entire congregation!
Next year SAFECON 2011 will be in Columbus at Ohio State University – even farther east than Terre Haute. We will work hard to place in our Region II championships hosted by Mt. San Antonio College next January to insure an invitation to NIFA SAFECON 2011 and by His Grace, we will represent our school at the national level once again.
SAFECON 2010 RESULTS:
For the Judges Trophy, SDCC was 17th of 24 schools with 1571 points.
For the National Championship Trophy, SDCC was 24th of 29 schools with 22 points.
SDCC senior Titus Dinkins was our top scoring male pilot in 56th place of 287 contestants.
SDCC freshman Jenna Sims was our only female pilot among 34 lady-contestants. She competed in the Message Drop event with Mathew Belden.
Power-off spot landings: Kyle Mayhugh was 25 of 138, followed by David Garcia, 65; Mat Belden, 71; Kyle Loenhorst, 73; and Titus Dinkins 132.
Short Field landings: Kyle Loenhorst, 23; Kyle Mayhugh, 51; Titus Dinkins, 78; Mat Belden, 119; David Garcia, 121. [138 contestants]
Navigation: Kyle Loenhorst & Dylan Jones, 41; Clayton Hawley & Aaron Varela, 48 [81 contestants]
Message Drop: David Garcia & Titus Dinkins, 5; Kyle Mayhugh & Jenna Sims, 39 [56 contestants]
SCAN: Clayton Hawley, 42; Kyle Loenhorst, 45; David Garcia, 66; Mat Belden, 85; Titus Dinkins, 97 [140 contestants]
Aircraft ID: Kyle Loenhorst, 60; Aaron Varela, 66; Kyle Mayhugh, 77; Clayton Hawley, 104; Titus Dinkins, 116 [138 contestants]
Computer Accuracy (E6B): Paul Martin, 34; Titus Dinkins, 98; Mat Belden, 112; Aaron Varela, 125; David Garcia, 133 [139 contestants]
Ground Trainer (simulator): Clayton Hawley, 32; Kyle Loenhorst, 41 [57 contestants]
Simulated IFR (instrument simulator): Paul Martin, 15 [29 contestants]
Aircraft Preflight: Kyle Loenhorst, 44; Titus Dinkins, 54 [57 contestants]
SDCC Pilots also competed in the following events. Only the winners of these events are listed, competitors are not ranked.
Crew Resource Management (CRM): David Garcia & Mat Belden
CFI Event (teaching chandelles): David Garcia
American Airlines Safety Event: Aaron Varela and Titus Dinkins
Men’s Achievement Award: Paul Martin