Southern Illinois University Takes Home A Win At National Championships

The winning team at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale.

CARBONDALE, ILL. – Students at Southern Illinois University (SIUC) Carbondale won the 2011 National Intercollegiate Flying Association Championship, May 21, at Ohio State University Airport. The team, called the “Flying Salukis,” consisted of 10 team members. Scoring 414 points, they won the title by nine points over two-time defending champion University of North Dakota. This was SIUC’s eighth national title, and the first since 1985.

Placing fourth in 2010, the team finished second in the Region VIII championships in October, missing a fourth straight regional title by three points. Michael A. Carroll, a senior from Normal, Ill., one of three team captains, scored 121 of his team’s points himself n– a total that by itself, tied him for ninth place in team scoring. Carroll was the top-scoring pilot in the nation and finished second for the national top pilot award. The win won Carroll a scholarship to complete his studies in aviation management.

David A. NewMyer, department chair, said the national title provides the university’s already nationally recognized aviation programs with “very visible evidence” that they are among the nation’s leading aviation degree programs. “The national championship allows us to celebrate our aviation students,” said NewMyer. “They are the very best and this kind of performance under pressure shows the winning Saluki spirit is alive and well.”

The team placed in all 11 events in the 27-team field. The Flying Salukis were first in the flight events and second to North Dakota in the ground events. There were seven ground events and four flight events. Ground events were computer accuracy, aircraft preflight inspection, simulator, aircraft recognition, simulated comprehensive area navigation (SCAN), crew resource management, and IFR (instrument flight rules) simulator. Flight events are power-off landing, short-field approach and landing, navigation and message drop.

In addition to Carroll’s overall performance, the squad won three individual titles. Taylor M. Breum, a sophomore in aviation flight from Lake Villa, Ill., won the short-field approach and landing; Ryan C. Veldman, a junior in aviation management and flight from Lexington, Ky., won the power-off landing event; and co-captain Daniel S. Harrington, a senior in aviation management from Monee, won the SCAN title.

After the Flying Salukis and North Dakota, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Prescott was a distant third with 271 points, followed by Western Michigan University, 212, and host, The Ohio State University, 197 points.

The Flying Salukis’ assistant coaches are senior lecturer Bryan T. Harrison, assistant instructors Jeffrey D. Jaynes, Kevin M. Krongos, Sabrina J. Zwego, and Kim Carter, a senior lecturer and academic advisor.

The team competed in four Cessna aircraft, two Cessna 152s and two Cessna 172s, all owned by the University.

Flying Salukis, who also scored in events, were Scott A. Blair, a senior in aviation management from Bloomington, Ill.; David T. Brown, a senior in aviation management from Chicago, Ill.; Ryan E. Buttney, a senior in aviation management from Lemont, Ill.; Daniel B. McMahon, a senior in aviation management from Edina, Mo.; Joshua T. Mech, a sophomore in aviation flight from Sheboygan, Wis.; and Samuel W. Oas, a senior in aviation management from Villa Park, Ill.

Other Flying Saluki team members for the 2011 spring semester are Courtney L. Copping, a junior in aviation management and flight from St. Charles, Ill.; Kyle E. Hayes, a sophomore in aviation flight from Bourbonnais, Ill.; Justin E. Lopez, a sophomore in aviation flight from Bourbonnais, Ill.; Michael J. Szemplinski, a freshman in aviation flight from Geneva, Ill.; and George A. “Rusty” Wharton, III, a sophomore in aviation flight from Goodfield, Ill.

For more information on the Flying Salukis, contact Lincoln at 618/453-9250, or by email at More information on the University’s aviation programs is available at

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