By Jared Kennedy
The University of Nebraska at Omaha Flying Mavs team has officially qualified for its seventh consecutive trip to the National Safety and Flight Evaluation Conference (SAFECON).
Finishing third overall for region 6, the Flying Mavs wrapped up the Saint Louis competition last Friday. Complete list results are available online at www.nifa.us
In the competition, student pilots enter into five ground events and four flying events. Judges score competitors on general flying quality points including flight precision and the student’s ability to calculate fuel usage while flying to a destination.
The Flying Mavs got their start in 1992, shortly after the conception of the UNO aviation institute in 1990.
The Flying Mavs have been growing as a team ever since. This is not the first time the Flying Mavs have had success as a team. 2012 was a banner year for the team as they took home the prestigious Loening Trophy. The team also one first place at NIFA com-petition for region 6 in 2009, 2010, and 2011.
James Slabaugh is a team ad-visor of the Flying Mavs, he says he is very impressed by the team’s performance at SAFECON
“It really hits every aspect of the knowledge and skills it takes to be a private pilot,” Slabaugh said.
While the team had great success, several members of the team received recognition individually for the work they did at the competition. Sophomore Brandon Perkins came in second for the Top Pilot award, and senior team Captain Nick Lynam won first place for the award.
Lynam says it has always been a goal of the team to be on the top 10 list in the national com-petition. That being said, he still believes a first place finish is possible.
“We have a real strong team and a real young team. We definitely have a strong chance,” Lynam said.
SAFECON nationals are set for May 9 through 14 in Columbus, Ohio.
The flight team is always open to all students who attend classes through the Aviation Institute at UNO. The institute offers not only classroom education in aviation, but also real experience in the sky. Nov. 25 marks the 25th anniversary of the aviation institute.
Sponsors for the Flying Mavs team include Jet Linx Aviation, James Labaugh and Mike Munch, coach of the team. This season, the Flying Mavs are sponsored by Jet Linx Avia-tion. James Slabaugh and Mike Munch coach the team.
A definite contributor to the success of the Flying Mavs is the state of the art facilities UNO aviation institute has available. The institute offers flight simulators as well as traditional flight training.