SIUC to host flying competition - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

SIUC to host flying competition

CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) -

The Southern Illinois University Carbondale Flying Salukis are looking to defend their national championship title.

SIU is hosting the National Intercollegiate Flying Association's Region VIII Competition Oct. 28 through Nov. 1 at the Southern Illinois Airport and Transportation Education Center.

Nine events will be judged, that include both ground and flight events.

Seventy students are participating in this events from five different schools: Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Indiana State University, Lewis University, Purdue University and Quincy University.

SIU head coach, James Libuszowski, said he always tell the team to revert back to the way the coaches train them.

"I mean we push them hard and we tell them what they need to know," Libuszowski said. "And as long as they remain calm and follow those instructions, they're going be just fine at competition."

The flying Salukis have been the nine-time national champions and are looking to return to national competition in May next year.

With a lot of training and work involved within these competitions, SIU professors of the aviation school train their students for emergency situations, similar to the incident in Wichita, Kansas. 

Pilot students have more than 200 hours of training on single engine planes before transitioning to a multi-engine course. 

Associate professor and Safety Officer, Mike Robertson, says the students are trained on multiple different emergencies, including engine failure.

"We train these students over and over again so that we hope when it does happen, that training just kicks in and takes over," Robertson said.

Robertson says 220 students are apart of the aviation program, flying about 13,000 hours a year.

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