2009 K-State Salina Achievements

* William "Bill" Gross, chief pilot and professor of aviation at K-State at Salina, has renewed his Master Certificated Flight Instructor accreditation for a fourth time. Gross, who has held the professional accreditation continuously since 2003, is one of only 54 flight instructors worldwide to earn the credential four times. He also is one of only 19 master certified flight instructors in Kansas. The national accreditation is recognized by the Federal Aviation Administration. Fewer than 700 of the approximately 93,000 certified flight instructors in the nation have achieved the master distinction. K-State at Salina has six faculty members who have earned this top designation. Along with Gross, they are Kurt Barnhart, professor and head of the department of aviation; Bernard King, associate professor of aviation; Troy Brockway, associate professor of aviation; Eric Shappee, associate professor of aviation; and Andrew Smith, assistant professor of aviation and the aviation maintenance training program lead. Dec. 2009

* Andrew "Drew" Smith, assistant professor of aviation and the aviation maintenance training program lead at K-State at Salina, has earned Master Certified Flight Instructor designation for the first time. Smith is the sixth instructor in K-State at Salina's aviation program to earn the distinction. He also is one of only 19 Master Certified Flight Instructors in Kansas. Fewer than 700 of the approximately 93,000 certified flight instructors in the nation have achieved the master designation. Nov. 2009

* K-State at Salina's Students In Free Enterprise team was named the grand champion of Southern Arkansas University's Walgreens Wrangle. The K-State at Salina team beat seven other teams for the title. The case competition challenges students to solve a real-world business problem for a company. The K-State at Salina team's path to victory included a first-round win over a team from Texas A&M University. Oct. 2009

* K-State at Salina's Flight Team qualified for the National Intercollegiate Flying Association's Safety and Flight Evaluation Conference -- or SAFECON -- competition after placing third overall at the Region VI competition in Norman, Okla., Oct. 18-24. Teams from eight schools competed. The competition included five ground events and four flight events. Along with the third-place finish, the K-State at Salina team also won the Safety Award. Team captain Kate Fraser, senior in professional pilot, McPherson, was the top scoring female contestant and was named the top female pilot. The team's adviser of Tom Karcz, assistant professor of aviation. Oct. 2009

* Charles Sojka, instructor of aviation at K-State at Salina, has earned his single engine sea plane rating. The rating means Sojka is qualified to take off and land on water in a single-engine plane. It also means he is qualified to help K-State at Salina aviation students learn about what it takes to earn this rating. The rating means aviation students who might be interested in obtaining their sea plane rating will have a resource person to describe what it entails beforehand. Sept. 2009

* Bernard King, associate professor of aviation at K-State at Salina, has earned Master Certified Flight Instructor designation for the fifth time. King has continuously held the national accreditation since 2001 and is one of only 18 master certified flight instructors in Kansas. When King initially earned this designation he was the first from K-State at Salina and the sixth in Kansas. Today, five master certified flight instructors teach in K-State's department of aviation. Aug. 2009

* K-State at Salina's John Seim, senior in aviation maintenance, Chapman, Neb., placed first in aviation maintenance competition at the state convention of Kansas SkillsUSA. Seim advanced to the national SkillsUSA competition. Also placing in the aviation maintenance event were K-State at Salina students Matt Colclasure, junior in aviation maintenance, Kansas City, Mo., second place; and Brian Robinson, senior in aviation maintenance, Tecumseh, third place. July 2009

* Ryan Perez, a senior in aviation maintenance and technology management, is one of six recipients this year of the $2,500 Maintenance Technician Scholarship from Helicopter Foundation International. The scholarship is awarded based on a student's interest and determination to work in the helicopter industry. It also helps promote the industry's need for aircraft maintenance technicians. June 2009

 

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