CTC flight team earns honors and wings at SAFECON

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CTC captured first place in the overall team flying events for the fifth year in a row and third place in the ground events which placed the team second overall. CTC Flight Team co-captains Brandon O’Neil and Luke Metheney were named the top two pilots respectively in the competition.
Nearly 100 student pilots from five colleges participated in the regional competition which tests a broad variety of aviation skills, both on the ground and in the air. Competing schools were CTC, Delta State University (Cleveland, Miss.), Louisiana Tech (Ruston, La.), LeTourneau University (Longview) and Texas State Technical College (Waco).
Overall, CTC scored 564 points in the competition to finish second behind LeTourneau University with 636 points. CTC (380 points) won the flight events over LeTourneau (331 points) and finished third in the ground events with 184 points. With the second place finish, CTC qualifies for the national SAFECON flying competition at Ohio State University to be held in May 2017.
CTC Flight Team members were: Aaron Adams, Trevor Baldwin, Cole Bass, Cristian Batista, Colton Bumpas, Sherman Burwell, Jesus Cuellar, Sean Dunn, Eric Tureno-Holden, Clifton Lawrence, Metheney, O’Neil, Jonathan Tee and Shawn Tschoepe. The team was coached by Michael Hutyra, CTC assistant chief flight professor.
The regional completion results were:
Aircraft Recognition (students are given three seconds to identify the manufacturer, common name and model number of aircraft from all over the world, both past and present): Jonathan Tee – second place; Shawn Tschoepe – sixth place; Sherman Burwell – 12th place; Aaron Adams – 18th place; and Cristian Batista – 19th place.
Aircraft Pre-Flight Inspection (students are given 15 minutes to inspect a common training aircraft which has been “bugged” with multiple problems and identify the problems): Brandon O’Neil – third place and Luke Metheney – fourth place.
Computer Accuracy (written examination based on problem solving using one or more manual flight computers): O’Neil – 12th place; Trevor Baldwin – 14th place; Metheney – 15th place; Sean Dunn – 17th place; and Tschoepe – 18th place.
Ground Trainer (designed to test the competency and skill of students using a flight training device measuring proficiency in altitude, heading and airspeed control): O’Neil – first place and Metheney – second place.
Message Drop (a two-person crew attempts to hit a target on the ground with a message container dropped from the aircraft): Eric Tureno-Holden (drop master)/Adams (pilot) – fourth place; Tschoepe (drop master)/Metheney (pilot) – 11th place; Jesus Cuellar (drop master)/Baldwin (pilot) – 14th place; Burwell (drop master)/Colton Bumpas (pilot) – 17th place; and Batista (drop master)/Tee (pilot) – 18th place.
Navigation Ranking (contestants are evaluated by comparing actual flight data with estimated planned data submitted by the student for a 70-120 nautical mile cross-country flight): O’Neil (pilot)/Bumpas safety observer) – second place; Coleman Bass (pilot)/Dunn (safety observer) – fifth place; and Metheney (pilot)/Cuellar (safety observer) – sixth place.
Power Off Landings (test the pilot’s skill at maneuvering and manipulating the aircraft when attempting to land on a target line with the aircraft engine on idle during the downward leg abeam of the target line): Adams – first place; O’Neil – sixth place; Metheney – 10th place; Dunn – 13th place; and Bumpas – 20th place.
Short Field Approach and Landing (test the pilot’s skill at maneuvering and manipulating the aircraft when attempting to land on a target line): O’Neil – fourth place; Metheney – fifth place; Cuellar – sixth place; Dunn – 11th place; and Bass – 14th place.
Simulated Comprehensive Aircraft Navigation (written exam with problems referencing a simulated cross-country flight over a given route): O’Neil – ninth place; Adams – 12th place; Cuellar – 14th place; Dunn – 16th place; and Bass – 23rd place.
In the Top Pilot category, O’Neil amassed 152 points to earn top pilot honors while Metheney finished second with 119 points. Adams was ranked as the ninth top pilot and Bass finished as the 11th top pilot.