Sky Broncos place fourth in national championship event

contact: Cheryl Roland
| WMU News
Photo of Cirrus aircraft.

WMU's fleet of Cirrus SR-20 aircraft.

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Western Michigan University's famed precision flight team, the Sky Broncos, captured fourth place in the 2017 National Intercollegiate Flying Association championship held recently at Ohio State University.

The 16-member team from WMU's College of Aviation competed against 26 teams from colleges and universities across the nation. This year’s team co-captains were Patrick Allen, of Willowbrook, Illinois, and Collin Kearney, of Grosse Ile. Head coach was Ryan Seiler, assistant coach was Marty Coaker, and event coaches were Patrick Denney and Elizabeth Bates.

The Sky Broncos placed fourth in ground events and fourth in flight events, placing fourth overall. The event winner was Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Prescott. Longtime WMU rival the University of North Dakota came in second, and Southern Illinois University came in third. The host team for the competition from OSU placed fifth.

Schools earn the right to compete at nationals by winning or placing second in regional competitions. The Sky Broncos qualified for this year's competition by winning last October's NIFA Region III event at Ohio State University for the fourth consecutive year. The Sky Broncos last won the national title in 2002.

2016-17 Sky Broncos

  • Patrick Allen of Willowbrook, Illinois, studying aviation flight science

  • Alex Austin of Mississauga, Ontario, studying aviation flight science

  • Brett Been of Orland Park, Illinois, studying aviation flight science
  • Brian Erhart of Belmont, Michigan, studying aerospace engineering
  • Devvyn Fader of Essexville, Michigan, studying aviation maintenance technologies
  • Andrew Gabalski of Columbus, Ohio, studying aviation flight science
  • Collin Kearney of Grosse Ile, Michigan, studying aviation flight science
  • Wendell Kury of Commack, New York, studying aviation flight science
  • Joshua Neinhaus of Brighton, Michigan, studying aviation flight science
  • Mackenzie Odell of Zeeland, Michigan, studying aviation flight science
  • Luke Ostrom of Orland Park, Illinois, studying aviation flight science
  • Lauren Quandt of Grosse Ile, Michigan, studying aviation fight science
  • Jim Ray of Davison, Michigan, studying aviation flight science
  • Mathew Smith of Sand Lake, Michigan, studying aviation flight science
  • John Vanderlaan of Spring Lake, Michigan, studying aviation flight science
  • Dana Wyckoff of Shelby Township, Michigan, studying aerospace engineering

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