July 12, 2012
On a roll: K-State Salina students place in top five at aerobatics competition
Two Kansas State University Salina students are flying high after landing top-five finishes at their first aerobatics competition.
Joel Harts and Jack Henry placed fourth and fifth, respectively, at the Midwest Aerobatic Clubs' MAC80 Contest, June 22-24, in Seward, Neb.
"None of us had any experience in competition aerobatics, but both students have been in my upset training course," said Troy Brockway, associate professor of aviation, who coached the students and served as their safety pilot during the competition.
The pilots didn't get much training time in the Super Decathlon aircraft they used for competition, as it had been down for maintenance until the Tuesday before they left.
Henry, senior in professional pilot, Emporia, and Harts, senior in professional pilot, Norfolk, Neb., competed in the Primary category, the first of the aerobatic competition's five levels.
The category's flight routine consisted of a 45-degree pitch climb, a one-turn spin, a half-Cuban eight, a loop, a 180-degree turn and a slow roll.
"It was a great confidence builder," Henry said. "Joel and I had an absolute blast and we are planning on attending the another competition in August."