ERAU Teams Score Second and Fourth
University's two renowned student flight teams placed second and
fourth at this year's National Intercollegiate Flying Association's
(NIFA) Safety and Flight Evaluation Conference (SAFECON), hosted
May 17-23 by the Parks College of St. Louis University.
The university's Daytona Beach, Fla., campus team, the Eagles,
moved up to second place in the nation in the competition, an
improvement from their third-place ranking of last year. The team
won the national championship in 1992. The Prescott, Ariz., campus
team, the Golden Eagles - a powerhouse group of flyers who have
been national champions seven times since 1993 - came in fourth
with 288 points overall, only three points out of third place.
This year's competition involved 335 pilots from 28 aviation
programs around the nation. The Eagles also won first place in the
Flight Events category and scored first-place finishes in five
individual events - Navigation (pilots Derek Herchko and Jon
Hester), Computer Accuracy (Derek Herchko), Crew Resource
Management (Michael Crowley and Tim Lerner-Lam), Aircraft
Recognition (Blake Glass), and Instrument Flight Rules (Steven
The Golden Eagles's student pilot Cassie Nagle was the nation's
top-scoring female contestant, capturing the Candi Kubek Award, and
the team of pilots Dustin Hagadone and Josh Seay took second place
in the American Airlines Safety Event.
Dave Zwegers, coach of the Daytona Beach campus team, said,
"We're pleased that we exceeded our previous years' results, which
have been continuously improving -- 10th place in 2005, 6th place
in 2006, 3rd place in 2007 and 3rd place in 2008."
Matthew Waterhouse, head coach of the Prescott team, said, "As
national champions for the past two years, we went in with high
expectations. We were definitely disappointed, but I think losing
every once in a while will make our team members appreciate winning
the national championship in the future."
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University offers more than 30 degree
programs in its colleges of Arts and Sciences, Aviation, Business,
and Engineering, educating more than 34,000 students annually in
undergraduate and graduate programs. Doctoral programs in aviation
and in engineering physics are pending approval by the Commission
on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
(SACS) for the University to offer programs at the doctoral