Detail Dawgs

‘Detail Dawgs’ compete at nationals: Competing on a national stage for a second year, the “Detail Dawgs” continued to improve at the 2018 Aerospace Maintenance Competition last month in Orlando, Fla. Team members are, from left to right, front row: Michael Vitale, Nathan Trogdon, Jakob Chapman, Jordan Robin, Rachel Kelly, Kyle Koblas; second row: Seth Faloon, Zachary Eldredge and Chance Bowman; third row: Feras Saad.

May 08, 2018

‘Detail Dawgs’ do well at national aviation technologies competition

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. — As a developing team in just its second national competition, Southern Illinois University Carbondale aviation technologies students fared well in the 2018 Aerospace Maintenance Competition in Orlando, Florida. 

With only two of 10 team members returning from last year’s competition, the Detail Dawgs earned second place overall in the Oil Analysis event and third place overall in the Magneto timing event. Over all, the two teams improved upon their previous time by 200 minutes, said Harry Fanning, a lecturer in the program and faculty advisor for the registered student organization. 

“These students did an outstanding job representing our school and the Aviation Technology program,” Fanning said. “Their professionalism has set the bar for future teams.  We have made significant progress over last year and have already started planning for next year.” 

Competition includes other schools, aviation and aerospace industry professionals 

The competition consists of 28 challenges in areas such as avionics fiber optics/flight control rigging, hydraulics and jet engine troubleshooting, according to the organization’s website. Teams have 15 minutes to complete each task; scoring is based on the time it takes to finish. 

Each of SIU’s teams improved last year’s overall time by 200 minutes, with one team beating the average time of teams competing this year in 18 events and the second team beating the average time in 12 events, Fanning said. 

A team representing United Airlines Team Cleveland won the 2018 title last month, while The Aviation Institute of Maintenance-Houston scored highest of the 24 school teams. 

‘Detail Dawgs’ formed in February 2016 

The registered student organization was fully sponsored this year, so it was able to send two teams, said Michael Burgener, department chair. He was pleased with the squad’s finish in just its second year. 

“This competition has both students and professionals in the aviation industry, so our students were competing against seasoned professionals,” he said. 

This year’s team, by hometown and year in school are:


  • Ashton: Jakob Chapman, senior
  • Buffalo Grove: Kyle Koblas, junior
  • Germantown Hills: Michael Vitale, freshman
  • Joliet: Nathan Trogdon, freshman
  • Skokie: Jordan Robin, senior
  • Springfield: Seth Faloon, senior
  • Streamwood: Zachary Eldredge, senior 


  • Peters: Chance Bowman, sophomore 


  • Gibsonia: Rachel Kelly, sophomore 


  • Doha: Feras Saad, senior