October 25, 2011

Flying Salukis again qualify for nationals

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The Southern Illinois University Carbondale Flying Salukis earned the chance to defend their national title by winning the weather-shortened 2011 National Intercollegiate Flying Association’s Region VIII championship on Friday.

The Flying Salukis won each of the five ground events en route to the team’s fourth regional title in five years in the competition, Oct. 17-22, at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tenn.  The finish marks the 42nd time in 43 years that the Flying Salukis qualify for national competition, and allows the team the opportunity to defend the 2011 NIFA national title it earned in May. The Flying Salukis have a total of seven NIFA titles.

The Flying Salukis won the regional championship with 103 points, followed by Lewis University, 58 points, and the University of Illinois, 43 points.   Purdue University, 26 points, Middle Tennessee State University, 24 points, and Indiana State University, 22 points, also competed.

The top three teams in the region receive automatic berths to NIFA’s national competition, May 14-19, in Salina, Kan.  Kansas State University will host the event.

“I think we got a good feel of how strong our ground events team is and that will be a good stepping stone to prepare for the national competition,” said Nathan J. Lincoln, the Flying Salukis’ coach, and a senior lecturer in the Department of Aviation Management and Flight.

Inclement weather early in the week -- including hail that damaged some of the airplanes -- limited the competition to ground events only.  The ground events are computer accuracy, aircraft preflight inspection, simulator ground trainer, aircraft recognition and SCAN, or simulated comprehensive aircraft navigation.

“It was a great competition even though it was limited to ground events,” said Lincoln, who earned Region VIII Coach of the Year honors.  “I tell everyone to work extremely hard on the ground events specifically because of things like this that can occur.”

The Flying Salukis and assistant coach assistant instructors Jeffrey D. Jaynes, an assistant instructor in the Department of Aviation Management and Flight, also earned the competition’s safety award for the quick response to the incoming hailstorm Tuesday afternoon.  Jaynes organized practice landings for the competitors, and four planes were in the air as a fast-moving thunderstorm was approaching.  He was able to get the four planes down about five to 10 minutes prior to the storm, which produced golf ball-sized hail and damaged some planes.

Even with eight new members on this fall’s squad, the desire to finish strong and return to nationals as the defending champions was in the back of everyone’s minds, particularly those returning from last year, Lincoln said.

“They wanted to continue that success into the regional competition,” he said.

Daniel S. Harrington, a senior in aviation management from Monee, was the event’s top scoring contestant, with first-place finishes in computer accuracy and aircraft preflight inspection.  Taylor M. Breum, a junior in aviation management from Lake Villa, was first in both aircraft recognition and simulator ground trainer and finished third overall.  Ryan C. Veldman, a senior in aviation management from Lexington, Ky., was first in SCAN.

In addition to his two-first place finishes, Harrington, a co-captain, was fourth in SCAN. He is the son of Nancy Curry of Monee.

Veldman also finished third in computer accuracy.  He is the son of Dina Veldman of Lexington, Ky.  He is the only Flying Saluki who will not be a part of the squad in May due to an upcoming internship.

Breum is the son of Janet and Terry Breum of Lake Villa.

In all, nine Flying Salukis scored in the competition.  Other Flying Salukis who scored in events were:

Scott A. Blair, who was second in aircraft preflight inspection and seventh in computer accuracy. A senior in aviation management, Blair is the son of Lana and Bryan Blair of Bloomington.

Justin E. Lopez, who was second in computer accuracy.  A junior in aviation management and flight, he is the son of Sandy and Eddie Lopez of Bourbonnais.

Samuel W. Oas, who was third in aircraft recognition.  A senior in aviation management, he is the son of Lynda and William Oas of Villa Park

Joshua T. Mech, a junior in aviation management, was sixth in SCAN.  He is the son of Darlene and Timothy Mech of Sheboygan, Wisc.

Daniel B. McMahon, a co-captain and senior in aviation management, was ninth in computer accuracy. He is the son of Kathy and Dennis McMahon of Edina, Mo.

Courtney L. Copping, a junior in aviation management, was 10th in SCAN. She is the daughter of Donna and Clarence Copping of Saint Charles.

Other Flying Saluki team members for the fall 2011 semester are:

Stephanie J. Armstrong, a junior in aviation management and flight, the daughter of Christine and Jeff Armstrong of Marseilles; Dane K. Fearneyhough, a sophomore in aviation flight, the son of Dee and Paul Fearneyhough of Louisville, Ky.; Jonathan K. Galante, a junior in aviation management, the son of Diane and Steve Galante of Roselle; Robert W. Hutchinson, a junior in aviation management and flight, the son of Mary Lou and Robert Hutchinson of Johnsburg; Kyle E. Hayes, a sophomore in aviation management and flight, the son of Kellee and Kurt Hayes of Bourbonnais; Brandon M. Hurley, a freshman in aviation flight and criminal justice, the son of Greg and Laura Hurley of Prospect, Ky.; Evan M. Krueger, a freshman in aviation flight and aviation technologies, the son of Christine and Stephen Krueger of Crystal Lake; and Joshua A. Sager, a freshman in aviation management and flight, the son of Mary and Andrew Sager of Lincoln.

The three programs that comprise the University’s aviation program -- aviation flight, aviation management, and aviation technologies -- are in the College of Applied Science and Arts.

The other Flying Salukis assistant coaches are senior lecturers Bryan T. Harrison, Kevin M. Krongos, and Kim Carter, also an academic adviser, and assistant instructors Jaynes and Kyle E. Newnam.