Sky Broncos win regional competition, qualify for nationals

Contact: Deanne Puca
Photo of the Sky Broncos

Sky Broncos take first place

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Western Michigan University's precision flight team, the Sky Broncos, finished first in this year's regional National Intercollegiate Flying Association Safety and Evaluation Conference for Region III that concluded Oct. 10 at Ohio State University.

As a result of the win, the 13-member team will compete against top teams from nine other regions at NIFA's 2015 championship competition, known as SAFECON, which will be held May 11-16, also at Ohio State. Last year's team placed fourth in the national competition, competing against teams from 27 colleges and universities around the country.

At this fall's regional competition, the Sky Broncos, guided by Head Coach and faculty advisor Ryan Seiler and Assistant Coach Marty Coaker, succeeded in taking top honors with a majority of underclassmen--eight freshman and sophomores.

"Our very young team did us proud," said Capt. Dave Powell, dean of the College of Aviation.

Members of the 2014-15 Sky Broncos team are:

  • Patrick Allen, a sophomore from Hinsdale, Illinois, studying flight science
  • Alex Austin, a freshman from Mississauga, Ontario, studying flight science
  • Elizabeth Bates, a junior from Plymouth, Massachusetts, studying flight science and administration
  • Alex Bych, a senior from Somers, Connecticut, who is studying aviation flight science and is a team captain
  • Kevin Davis, a junior from Aurora, Illinois, studying aviation flight science
  • Devvyn Fader, a sophomore from Essexville, studying aviation flight science
  • Andrew Gabalski, a freshman from Columbus, Ohio, studying aviation flight science
  • Collin Kearney, a sophomore from Grosse Ile, studying aviation fight science
  • Andrew Koch, a senior from Chelsea, studying aviation flight science who is a team captain
  • Conner Murdock, a sophomore from Romeo, studying aviation flight science
  • Mack Odell, a sophomore from Zeeland, studying aviation flight science
  • Luke Ostrom, a sophomore from Orland Park, Illinois, studying flight science
  • Amanda Marie Zeeb, a junior from Angola, Indiana, who is studying aviation flight science.
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