SIU Flying Salukis win 10th-straight regional competition

Published: Oct. 18, 2021 at 5:23 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 18, 2021 at 5:38 PM CDT
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CARBONDALE, Ill. (KFVS) - Southern Illinois University Flight School students are flying high this week.

The Flying Salukis brought home their 10th-straight victory in a regional flying competition and are now ready to compete on the national level.

“And bringing home another win is just something that we’re proud to do as Salukis and all of our hard work pays off,” said senior captain of the flight team Angelina Kapp.

Kapp called the Flying Saluki’s 10th straight win in the Region 8 SAFECON inspiring.

“You’re putting in work, not only for yourself but for your teammates. And so year after year when we see that effort pay off, it just reminds you, why hard work is so important,” explained Kapp.

The team took off on its competition, winning seven out of the 10 events at the SAFECON.

Part of the competition is in the air with events including: “We have landing, where you have too basically try to land on a line as close as you possibly can. The navigation event, where similar to planning a cross country, now you get to actually fly it and see how accurate we’re we really. A message drop, where you have to drop an item out an aircraft and try and hit a bucket,” said Kapp.

The other part of the competition is on the ground.

Those events include: “E6B which is basically the math components of flying. You have usually about an hour to take this one test, for the other hand of ground events you do a cross country planning. So from flying from point A to point B,” she said.

Kapp’s fellow captain Benjamin Morris is just happy to be able to compete against schools, actually in person.

“It was really cool especially with our team. We had a lot of new members, more than usual because of COVID, and everybody really came together and worked hard, and did really well overall,” said Morris.

Their coach, Nathan Lincoln, knows having an in-person competition gave his team some extra juice.

“Knowing that you had an in-person competition at the end, provided a lot more motivation, the last couple years of virtual competitions just didn’t mean the same to the team or the coach,” Lincoln said.

He said he wants his current students to get the experience that he did when he was an aviation student at SIU.

“I’ve been involved in SIU flight team for almost 25 years now from when I competed to being able to coach, I’ve head coached for almost 11 years and really the success that they’re having, I enjoy to be able too coach them, be able to allow them the opportunity to do what I experienced as a student,” he said.

The Flying Salukis are now preparing for national competition, which will be at Ohio State University in the spring.

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