2012.05.21 > For Immediate Release
contact: Charley Reed - University Relations
phone: 402.554.2129 - email: email@example.com
UNO Aviation Institute, Flight Team Earn National Awards
Omaha - The University of Nebraska at Omaha’s (UNO) Aviation Institute was named the top in the nation this weekend as it received the prestigious Loening Trophy at the annual SAFECON competition. The program’s student team, The Flying Mavs, also secured the Aviation Progress Award as this year’s most improved team.
SAFECON 2012, organized by the National Intercollegiate Flying Association (NIFA), was hosted by Kansas State University in Salina, Kan. from May 14-19. This year 28 teams and 300 students competed in this national event. According the NIFA website, the Loening Trophy was first awarded in 1929 and named after Grover Loening, aviation pioneer and the first aeronautical engineer for the Wright Brothers. The award rewards excellence in not just aeronautical skills, but academics, community involvement, comprehensive safety, professionalism and pro-active involvement in determining the future of aviation. The judges for the first award included Charles Lindbergh, Amelia Earhart and Navy Commander John Towers.
“Winning the Loening Trophy is a tremendous accomplishment for our program,” said Scott Vlasek, director of the Aviation Institute. “It takes into account everything our faculty, staff and students do. The academic achievements of our students, the financial and career support the local aviation community provides and the dedication of the faculty in the areas of teaching and research make us stand out.”
As this year’s recipients of the Aviation Progress Award, UNO’s Flying Mavs showed significant improvement from last year’s competition. This year UNO placed 11th overall, up from 22nd overall in 2011.
“The students on this team were committed to excellence and that shows by winning this award,” Vlasek said. “I am very proud of our students and the success they had at Nationals.”
The Flying Mavs also secured a number of individual successes at this year’s competition. Four students finished in the top 10 in four categories. Senior Zach Ossino placed second in the Power On Landings category and fourth in the Certified Flight Instructor event. Senior Tyler Klingemann secured ninth place in the Power Off Landings category and seventh place in the Message Drop category with junior Jeremy Martin. UNO placed seventh overall in SAFECON’s flying events.
Ossino and Klingemann, along with four other seniors, are outgoing graduates and will not be returning to the team in 2013. All six seniors have part of three regional championships, including its third straight this year, and three trips to the SAFECON national championships.
"This is a truly wonderful accomplishment," said John Bartle, acting dean of the College of Public Affairs and Community Service, of which the Aviation Institute is a part. "In this competition, UNO was up against other universities that spend many times more than we do on their flight programs. Against these odds, the Flying Mavericks triumphed. We could not be more proud of the students, faculty and staff of the Institute.”
The Loening Trophy will formerly be presented to the team later this year on the UNO campus.
Supporters of the UNO Aviation Institute include title sponsor Jet Linx Aviation, as well as Nebraska Business Aviation Association, ConAgra Foods, Mutual of Omaha, Kiewit Corporation, Carson Wealth Management, The Duncan Family Trust, Nebraska Aviation Coucil, Lyle and Ivette Bender and Paul Aaron.
Complete results can be found at http://nifa.us/SAFECON_2012_Results.html. For more information on UNO’s Aviation Institute, visit http://flyingmavs.unomaha.edu or contact Scott Vlasek at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s metropolitan university. The core values of the institution place students at the center of all that the university does; call for the campus to strive for academic excellence; and promote community engagement that transforms and improves urB.A.sn, regional, national and gloB.A.sl life. UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908.
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