UND Flying Team wins top honors at Regional Safety and Flight Evaluation Conference


Leigh Kelly

Document Type

News Article

Publication Date


Campus Unit

John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences


The University of North Dakota's Flying Team recently won top honors in the Region V National Intercollegiate Flying Association's (NIFA's) Safety and Flight Evaluation Conference (SAFECON).

UND's winning score of 817 points gave the Flying Team first place in flight and ground events.

"We also received the safety award at SAFECON, which is a reflection on all of UND Aerospace," said Lewis Liang, assistant professor of aviation and the team's faculty advisor.

"The team worked hard and was ready for this air-meet. Taking first place in every event and having every competitor score points for the team gives us a solid foundation to build on for Nationals," Liang said.

The team participates in two competitions annually: a regional qualifying competition and the national competition to determine the national championship.

"We have met out first goal of the season and now it's back to work," said Jamie Marshall, the team's assistant coach and UND check pilot.

The Flying Team has set an unprecedented record by placing in the top two 25 times in the past 29 national SAFECON air-meets, with 16 first-place finishes and nine second place finishes.

Members of the team are volunteering aviation student body members who have made a commitment of time and effort to be a part of the team.

Team members who competed were co-captain Tyler Van Heel, Elk River, Minn.; co-captain Lauren Peterson, Duluth, Minn.; Jacob Alvey, Louisville, Ky.; Jack Foley, Libertyville, Ill.; Paul Hering, Grafton, Wis.; Cameron Jaxheimer, Seattle, Wash.; Jacob Lange, Archbold, Ohio; Brian Lee, New York, N.Y.; Christian Mohan, West Fargo, N.D.; Scott Meyer, Lyons, Ohio; Jacob Smith, Henning, Minn.; Justin Therriault, North Pole, Alaska; and Paul Valenstein, Sheboygan Falls, Wis.

The Flying Team will next compete at the National SAFECON competition held in Dublin, Ohio, on May 6, 2013, hosted by The Ohio State University. Thirty teams from the eleven regions around the country will compete in that National SAFECON event.

SAFECON was hosted by Minnesota State University Mankato in Mankato, and consisted of teams from: the University of Dubuque, St. Cloud State University and UND.

UND First place regional finishes:

Ground Trainer – Scott Meyer

Preflight Inspection – Tyler Van Heel

Simulated Comprehensive Aircraft Navigation – Scott Meyer

Manual Computer Accuracy – Scott Meyer

Aircraft Recognition – Scott Meyer

Navigation – Tyler Van Heel & Paul Hering

Power off Landings – Lauren Peterson

Short Field Landings – Lauren Peterson

Message Drop - Justin Therriault & Jacob Lange