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Friday, Oct 31, 2014

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Flying Bobcats

Moving an aircraft from the fueling station back to its parking spot after the navigation event, OHIO student aviator Colleen Thompson pushes while fellow teammate Grant Rhue steers and Kelly McCoy keeps an eye on the wing tips for clearance

Photographer: Ian Hoyt

Flying Bobcats

Sun sets at NIFA competition

Photographer: Ian Hoyt

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Student flight team maintains record as safest in region

Female student aviator also wins top woman pilot at regional contest


For the third year in a row, Ohio University's Flying Bobcats team has won the safety award at Region III National Intercollegiate Flying Association's (NIFA) Safety and Flight Evaluation Conference
(SAFECON).

The Flying Bobcats beat out the host, Kent State University, as well as Ohio State University, University of Cincinnati, and Western Michigan University for the honor at the annual competition,
held Oct. 9-13.

"I am very proud of this young team we had for this competition," said team captain Dylan Ewing, who was also elected outstanding team member by his teammates. "There was no lack of dedication. There is a lot of potential on this team."

Jessica Belzer, who was named top scoring woman pilot, said the accomplishment continues Ohio University's legacy as the safest flight school in the region.

The teams competed in nine events focused on navigation, landing, equipment proficiency, and other tasks relevant to safe aircraft operation. The Bobcats, who hosted last year's competition, placed fourth overall.

"Being chosen as top female pilot was very rewarding. Practicing for these events is incredibly consuming, so it is gratifying to remember such achievements during hard weeks of practice," Belzer said.

Kelly McCoy, another Flying Bobcat, placed third in the top-scoring woman pilot category.

"We brought a team featuring many fresh competitors up to Kent this past week and held our own in what is often regarded as the most competitive region in NIFA," Belzer said. "We very much look forward to progressing as the latest Ohio University Flying Bobcats team in becoming better pilots, more cunning competitors, and continuing to proudly illuminate our school through our accomplishments on both the regional and national levels."

The team will advance to the national competition, which will be held in May at Ohio State University.