The Central Texas College (CTC) Aviation Flight Team captured second place in the National Intercollegiate Flying Association Region IV Safety and Flight Evaluation Conference (SAFECON) championship held this past week at Skylark Field in Killeen. CTC won first place in the overall team flying events and third place in the ground events to finish second overall behind defending champions LeTourneau University.

More than 100 student pilots from five colleges participated in the regional event. They were CTC, Delta State University (Mississippi), Louisiana Tech University, LeTourneau University (Longview, TX) and Texas State Technical College (Waco, TX). During the competition, pilots were tested in a broad variety of aviation skills, both on the ground and in the air, including short-field landings, power-off landings and navigation - all demanding tests of piloting skills. Ground events include tests measuring a pilot’s knowledge of regulations, weather and their ability to do aviation math without electronic aids.

Competing for CTC were Trevor Baldwin, Coleman Bass, Nathan George, Andrew Soliman, Tyler Spidell, Shawn Tscheope (captain), Josiah Whatley and Jeff Wilson. 

The CTC team results were:

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): Bass – third place; Tschoepe – fifth place.

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): Tschoepe – sixth place; Baldwin – ninth place.

Computer Accuracy (written examination based on problem solving using one or more manual flight computers): George – seventh place.

Ground Trainer – Flight Simulator (designed to test the competency and skill of students using a flight training device measuring proficiency in altitude, heading and airspeed control): Whatley – second place; Wilson – fourth place.

Message Drop (a two-person crew attempts to hit a target on the ground with a message container dropped from the aircraft): Tschoepe (dropmaster)/George (pilot) – second place; Wilson (dropmaster)/Bass (pilot) – fifth place; and Soliman (dropmaster)/Tschoepe (pilot) – eighth place.

Power-off Landing (short field landing with the aircraft engine on idle during the downward leg abeam of the target line): Baldwin – first place; Wilson – second place; Whatley – fourth place; and Bass – sixth 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): Baldwin – second place; Spidell – eighth place; and Tschoepe – 10th place.

Simulated Comprehensive Aircraft Navigation or SCAN (written exam with problems which reference a simulated cross-country flight over a given route): George – seventh place; Whatley – ninth place.

Traditional Navigation (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): Tschoepe (pilot)/Whatley (navigator) – second place; Baldwin (pilot)/Spidell (navigator) – fifth place; and Bass (pilot)/Wilson (navigator) – sixth place.

CTC also had three of the top 10 pilots in the competition. In third place was Baldwin, Tschoepe was seventh and Whatley was the eighth best pilot. Wilson finished outside the top 10 in eleventh place. Baldwin also scored the third highest number of points during the contest with 125 points. Tschoepe was fifth with 122 points, Whately was ninth with 90 points and Bass finished fifth with 88 points. In addition, CTC won the Sportsmanship Award and was named the Red Barron Team Safety Award which is presented to the team demonstrating the safest practices during the regional SAFECON event and the past year.

With CTC’s second place finish, the team qualifies for and will compete in the National SAFECON to be held at the University of Wisconsin in May 2019. Last year, CTC was top two-year school at the national event.

CTC offers a two-year program leading to an associate in applied science degree and the commercial pilot certification with an instrument rating. The curriculum includes 14 core courses in aviation such as private flight, advanced air navigation, aviation meteorology, instrument flight and aerodynamics.


Cutline: The CTC Flight Team stands with the many trophies and awards won as the team finished in second place during the Region IV SAFECON.