Sky Broncos qualify for national flight competition
Oct. 26, 2010
KALAMAZOO-- Western Michigan University's competitive flight team, the Sky Broncos, finished in second place at this year's regional National Intercollegiate Flying Association Safety and Evaluation Conference for Region III that concluded Oct. 16 at Ohio State University.
The 13-member WMU team placed second in ground events and third in flight events to earn 210 competitive points, placing just behind Ohio State's 226 points.
The Sky Broncos' performance guarantees the team a berth at NIFA's 2011 championship competition, known as SAFECON, which will be held May 16-21, also at Ohio State. This is the 19th consecutive year the Sky Broncos have qualified for the NIFA event, where they compete against top teams from nine other regions for the national championship.
Leading the Sky Broncos in scoring this fall was Kyle Mallory of Rochester, N.Y., who accrued 36 points. He was the winner in the Simulated Comprehensive Aircraft Navigation event and the Navigation event with observer Kathryn Meyer. Mallory also was part of the fifth place Message Drop team with dropmaster Isaac Adler and was also first runner-up for the Top Pilot Award.
"We have always said our region is one of the best in the country, and this competition proved that," says Sky Bronco head coach Jared Neterer, a 2009 WMU graduate and former Sky Bronco. "In many of the events, WMU and OSU took all the top places available, so we know who to aim for at the national competition."
The SkyBroncos are led this year by team captain Kyle Johnson of Arnold, Mo. Assistant coach Lee Wierenga is also a 2009 alumnus, and the faculty advisor is Steven Tkachuk, a faculty aviation specialist.
Members of the 2010-11 Sky Broncos team are:
Noncompeting members of the team are Joseph Cronk, Matt Hoffman, Alex Hoopingarner, Ramon Ramirez, John Souther, James Thomas and Molly Wallace.
Media contact: Cheryl Roland, (269) 387-8400, firstname.lastname@example.org