Kent State University Precision Flight Team Secures Invitation to National SAFECON 2023
Congratulations are in order for the Kent State University Precision Flight Team! On January 20th, the National Intercollegiate Flying Association (NIFA) announced that Kent State was among 30 flight schools across the country receiving an invitation to the 2023 National Safety and Flight Evaluation Conference (SAFECON) hosted in Oshkosh, Wisconsin in May.
Prior to this announcement, the team attended the NIFA SAFECON in October. This competition was held at Bowling Green State University, at the Wood County Regional Airport. Kent State competes in Region III, which includes flight schools from Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Two other Region III schools received National SAFECON invitations: Western Michigan University and Ohio State University.
NIFA serves as an organization to bring college aviators together competitively and non-competitively. NIFA hosts 10 Regional SAFECONs in the fall annually. Teams competing at SAFECON compete in a variety of different events, including simulated flights, navigation, and flying competitions. SAFECON also includes a variety of individual awards for certified flight instructors, coach of the year, and individual achievement awards. Winners from the top three universities at each regional competition qualify for the National SAFECON competition held in the spring. At the national event, top winners from each region compete against those top performers across the entire nation.
Kent State University has historically been very successful in these events. In 2021, Kent State earned an overall third place finish in the Region III SAFECON competition, with five students earning one or more individual awards. At the 2022 National SAFECON competition, Kent State placed 12th overall, with Victoria Lorenzon earning both the Women’s Achievement Award and the Certified Flight Instructor of the Year Award, and Samuel Legarth earning a Top 20 placement for Top Scoring Contestant.
Kent State’s team was very successful at the 2022 Region III SAFECON competition as well, with awards as follows:
Overall SAFECON Championship - 3rd Place
Flight Events - 2nd Place
Ground Events - 3rd Place
Cole Hebbard - 3rd Place, Ground Trainer
Victoria Lorenzon - 5th Place, Ground Trainer
Samuel Legarth - 5th Place, Aircraft Recognition
Cole Hebbard - 1st Place, Short Field Landing
Takashi Kunu and Holly Csaszar - 1st Place, Message Drop
Frederick Stamper and Victoria Lorenzon - 3rd Place, Message Drop
Andrew McKinley and Takashi Kunu - 4th Place, Unlimited Navigation
Victoria Lorenzon and Cole Hebbard - 5th Place, Unlimited Navigation
George Ludwiczak - 5th Place, Power-Off Landing
Nicholas Krentz- Outstanding Team Member
George Ludwiczak - Outstanding Team Member
Cole Hebbard - 3rd Place, Top Pilot, 3rd Place, Top Scoring Contestant
Victoria Lorenzon - Women’s Achievement Award, Certified Flight Instructor of the Year
Samuel Legarth - Top 20 placement for Top Scoring Contestant