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Sky Broncos win regional flight competition

Oct. 23, 2009

BATTLE CREEK, Mich.--Western Michigan University's precision flight team, the Sky Broncos, captured the National Intercollegiate Flying Association's Region III title last week to qualify for the national championship next spring.

The 13-member WMU team won the ground event title and came in third in the flight events to win the overall competition with 217 points at the Oct. 13-17 event held at WMU's College of Aviation in Battle Creek, Mich. Kent State University came in second with 176 points and Ohio State University took third with 143.

The win marks the 17th time in 19 years the Sky Broncos have won the regional title. Their only misses were in 2000 and 2008, when they finished second. The top two finishes in each region qualify for the national competition.

At the regional competition, the Sky Broncos, led by Coach Steven W. Tkachuk, took the top two spots in both navigation and aircraft recognition, three of the top four places in preflight inspection, and swept the top five places in computer accuracy.

WMU teams have placed in the top four in the national competition for 18 consecutive years, with two national championships included in that run. The 2010 national championship competition takes place May 17-22 and will be hosted by Indiana State University at Terre Haute International-Hulman Field.

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Media contact: Thom Myers, (269) 387-8400, thom.myers@wmich.edu

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