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Source: Tom Karcz, 785-826-2979,
News release prepared by: Natalie Blair, 785-826-2642,

Friday, May 27, 2011


SALINA -- Kansas State University Salina's Flight Team came in eighth at the National Intercollegiate Flying Association's National Safety And Flight Evaluation Conference and competition, May 16-21 in Dublin, Ohio. Host of the event was Ohio State University.

The team earned an invitation to the national competition by placing second in the association's Region VI competition in October 2010.

The competition, know as SAFECON, has 13 total events: seven flight events and six ground events. K-State Flight Team members placed in the top 20 in six events: ground trainer, IFR simulated flight, message drop, navigation, power-off landing, and short-field landing.

In the ground trainer event contestants fly a complex pattern of climbs, descents and turns on a flight simulator. Scores are determined by the pilot's accuracy.

The IFR simulated flight tests contestants on their ability to perform in a simulated instrument flight rules flight environment while adhering to the standard procedures required by the Aeronautical Information Manual and air traffic control.

For the message drop event, the pilot and drop master must work as a team to maneuver their airplane while flying at 200 feet, so a message container will hit a target on the ground.

In the navigation event, contestants have an hour to plan a cross-country flight over a three-to-five leg course between 70 and 120 nautical miles. Before taking off, they submit a flight plan that includes estimated time en route for each leg, total elapsed time and fuel consumption. Points are awarded based on how closely the actual flight follows the plan.

The short-field landing event tests a pilot's skill at maneuvering and manipulating the aircraft. After taking off and flying a normal traffic pattern, the objective is to land as close to, if not on, the target line as possible. The power-off landing event is similar to the short-field event, except that the approach is made by gliding to touchdown.

K-State Flight Team members and their results include:

Theron "Craig" Harper, senior in professional pilot, Eudora, 10th in power-off landing and 13th in message drop as drop master; Kyle Simpson, senior in professional pilot, Mulvane, competed in the event; Joe Englert, junior in professional pilot, Syracuse, 13th in message drop as pilot and 20th in power-off landing; and Dash Tsao, senior in professional pilot, Wichita, 16th in navigation as pilot.

From out of state:

Zachariah Powell, senior in professional pilot and the team coach, Colorado Springs, Colo., 12th in short-field landing and 14th in power-off landing; Michael Potts, junior in professional pilot, Highlands Ranch, Colo., 16th in navigation as observer and voted Outstanding Team Member; Colton Daum, junior in professional pilot, Dix, Neb., third in IFR simulated flight and 13th in ground trainer; and Ryan Enebo, junior in professional pilot and the team captain, Sanger, Texas, 12th in short-field landing.