UND Flying Team captures regional title


David L. Dodds

Document Type

News Article

Publication Date


Campus Unit

John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences


Student aviators will compete for 17th national championship in May

The University of North Dakota Flying Team won top honors in the Region V National Intercollegiate Flying Association’s (NIFA’s) Safety and Flight Evaluation Conference (SAFECON) recently and is and early favorite to win its 17th flying championship at nationals in May in Ohio.

UND’s winning score of 862 points gave the UND Flying Team first place in flight events (524 Points) and first in ground events (338 Points). This SAFECON was hosted by Minnesota State University Mankato in Mankato, Minn., and comprised teams from the University of Dubuque, Minnesota State University – Mankato and UND.

“This regional air-meet was early in the season and the team pushed to prepare for this air-meet,” said Lewis Liang, associate professor of aviation and the team’s faculty advisor. “Taking first place in eight of nine events gives us a solid foundation to build on for Nationals.”

The National SAFECON competition will be held in Dublin, Ohio in May, and will be hosted by Ohio State University. Thirty teams from the 10 regions will compete in that National SAFECON event.

The UND Flying Team has won 16 national titles.

The UND Flying Team is made of volunteer aviation student body members in the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences (UND Aerospace) who have made a commitment of time and effort to be a part of the team. The team participates in two competitions annually: a regional qualifying competition and the national competition to determine the national championship.

The UND Flying Team members who competed were team captain Justin Bauer, Sussex, Wis.; Dana Atkins, Sycamore, Ill; Alex Browne, Nazareth, Penn.; William Caturia, Hastings, Minn.; Cannon Lin, Taichung, Taiwan; Steven Kinney, Minneapolis; Tim Nicosia, Federal Way, Wash.; Steven Roche, Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.; Paul Kraemer, Cold Springs, Minn.; Brian Shamblen, North Kingstown, R.I.; Cooper Pallasch, Tiverton, R.I.; and Ben Eidem, Ossining, N.Y.

About UND Aerospace:

UND Aerospace and the UND Aerospace Foundation (UNDAF) is an international leader in collegiate and contract aviation education and training services flying more than 115,000 hours per year in more than 120 aircraft. UNDAF also has facilities in Phoenix, in conjunction with Chandler-Gilbert Community College; and Crookston, Minn., with the University of Minnesota, in addition to its home-base in Grand Forks.

With more than 1,900 students from throughout the world, UND Aerospace is the second largest college at the University of North Dakota. Undergraduate and graduate programs leading to a variety of rewarding careers in aerospace are offered through five different academic departments: aviation, atmospheric sciences, computer science, earth system science and policy and space studies. The UND Aerospace training complex is the most technologically advanced environment for aerospace education, training and research in the world.