Ohio University’s Flying Bobcats win safety award, flying events at regional conference
By Joe Barbaree and Colleen Carow
Photos by Mark Dawson
ATHENS, Ohio (Oct. 31, 2011) – Amid the roar of raucous engines, teams from across the region competed last week in the Region III National Intercollegiate Flying Association’s (NIFA) Safety and Flight Evaluation Conference (SAFECON) at Ohio University this past week – and the Flying Bobcats earned some top honors.
The Flying Bobcats beat out the five other teams they hosted -- from Ohio State University, Western Michigan University, Kent State University and the University of Cincinnati – to win the safety award for the second year running, and first place in the flying events category.
Coached by Staff Flight Instructor George Armann and Assistant Coach Ben Brierly, the 13 pilots were tested in navigation, landing, equipment proficiency and other tasks necessary for the safe operation of aircraft.
“Hosting regionals to me means so much,” Armann said. “We get to show off our University and our promise that Ohio University will remain the safest school in the nation to fly with,” he added.
There were four flying events and five ground events in all.
Individual awards of note included: Travis Fisher, first place, power-off landings; J.D. Quint, second place, power-off landings; Jordan Bidwell and Chris Gatz, second place, message drop.
The team will land next at the national competition in Salina, Kansas, in May 2012.
“This is the best team I've ever coached,” Armann said.