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Reigning Champs, ERAU Golden Eagles Advances to Finals Featured

By Lynne LaMaster November 21, 2017 1158

Reigning NIFA Champions Golden Eagles Flight Team Swee ps Regional Competition to Advance to Finals

PRESCOTT, ARIZ. – Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Golden Eagles Flight Team will move on to defend its 11-time national championship title after securing its 31st consecutive regional win at National Intercollegiate Flying Association's (NIFA) Safety and Flight Evaluation Conference (SAFECON). The Nov. 13-18 regional competition was hosted by the university’s Prescott Campus at Ernest A. Love Field Airport in Prescott, Ariz.

With 13 overall first-place victories, including Top Pilot and Top Scoring Contestant, the Golden Eagles were pitted against teams from Arizona and California as part of the 2017 Region II competition. The team finished first overall in Flight Events with 211 points and first overall in Ground Events with 166 points, resulting in a dominant regional championship win with 377 points. San Diego Christian College placed second with 161 points.

As winners of the regional competition, the Golden Eagles Flight Team now advances to the finals April 30 - May 5, 2018, in Terra Haute, Ind. The regional win also puts the team on the path to attain a first in NIFA history – three national championships in a row.

“It never ceases to amaze me the work that members of the flight team put in and how they dedicate to themselves as a whole. With the recent induction into the International Air and Space Hall of Fame and the preparation of our first major team alumni reunion in February, all eyes are on the team to uphold the legacy of excellence our predecessors have left us ," said Golden Eagles Head Coach and former team member Sam Morris. “I’m incredibly proud of the entire team and look forward to addressing where we need to improve and building on our many strengths.”

Sixteen of the team’s 27 members competed, and in addition to Morris, the team was led by second-year Captain Nicholas “Nick” Moore (earned five 1st-place nods), Assistant Coach Rachel Hutzell and Russell Harris, and Volunteer Coach Stephen Anderson. Colin Ho-Tseung was named Outstanding Team Member.

Top five finishes for individual team members include:

Top Pilot: Nick Moore (1st place); Ryan O’Connor (2nd); Madeline Mearsch (3rd); Jake Cobian (4th)

Top Scoring Contestant: Nick Moore (1st place); Jake Cobian (2nd); Ryan O’Connor (3rd); Madeline Mearsch (4th)

Aircraft Preflight Inspection: Nick Moore (1st place); Madeline Mearsch and Anthony Platt (tied for 2nd)

Aircraft Recognition: Nick Moore (1st place); Jason Fung (2nd); Colin Ho-Tseung (3rd); Spencer Thomas (4th); Benjamin Klinkman-Sinatra (5th)

Computer Accuracy: Kevin Fickenscher (1st place); Jake Cobian (2nd); Bat-Amgalan Batbileg (3rd); Matthew Masangcay (4th); Arin Ojehomen (5th)

CRM/LOFT: Nicolas Moore & Anthony Platt (1st place)

Ground Trainer: Madeline Mearsch (1st place); Nick Moore (2nd)

Instrument Precision Flight: Jake Cobian (1st place)

Message Drop: Benjamin Lamer and Spencer Thomas (1st place)

Navigation: Bat-Amgalan Batbileg and Spencer Thomas (1st place); Madeline Mearsch and Nick Moore (2nd); Ryan O’Connor and Jake Cobian (3rd)

Power-Off Landing: Jake Cobian (1st place); Nick Moore (4th)

Short Field Landing: Jake Cobian (1st place); Ryan O’Connor (2nd); Nick Moore (3rd); Anthony Platt (5th)

Simulated Comprehensive Aircraft Navigation: Daniel Lee (1st place); Madeline Mearsch (2nd); Bat-Amgalan Batbileg (3rd); Ryan O’Connor (4th); Benjamin Lamer (5th)

The 2017-2018 Golden Eagles Flight Team members are: Bat-Amgalan “Bella” Batbileg, Ken Crawford, Jake Cobian (Co-Captain), Kevin Fickenscher, Jason Fung, Colin Ho-Tseung, Joseph Kao, Colin Kennedy, Ben Klinkman-Sinatra, Brian La Fetra, Benjamin Lamer, Daniel Lee, Matthew Masangcay, Madeline “Maddy” Mearsch, Nicholas “Nick” Moore (Captain), Karl Neserke, Sammy Ngo, Ryan O'Connor, Arin Ojehomon, Kevin Peace, Anthony Platt, Richard Santi, Erin Teal, Spencer Thomas, Trevor White, Josh Wiese and Jonathan Van Schooten.

For the entire list of results from the 2017 Region II SAFECON, visit : https://nifa2-ve8w6uakzza.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2017-Region-II-SAFECON-Official-Results.pdf . For more information on the Golden Eagles Flight Team, go to flygoldeneagles.com .

About Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University , the world’s largest, fully accredited university specializing in aviation and aerospace, is a nonprofit, independent institution offering more than 80 baccalaureate, master’s and Ph.D. degree programs in its colleges of Arts & Sciences, Aviation, Business, Engineering and Security & Intelligence. Embry-Riddle educates students at residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Prescott, Ariz., through the Worldwide Campus with more than 125 locations in the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, and through online programs. The university is a major research center, seeking solutions to real-world problems in partnership with the aerospace industry, other universities and government agencies. For more information, visit www.embryriddle.edu , follow us on Twitter (@EmbryRiddle) and facebook.com/EmbryRiddleUniversity , and find expert videos at YouTube.com/EmbryRiddleUniv .

About NIFA

The National Intercollegiate Flying Association (NIFA) was established to develop and advance aviation education; to promote, encourage and foster safety in aviation; to promote and foster communications and cooperation between aviation students, educators, educational institutions and the aviation industry; and to provide an arena for collegiate aviation competition. For more information, go to nifa.aero .

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