|UND Aerobatic Team earns spot in Collegiate Aerobatic National Competition|
The UND Aerospace Aerobatic Team participated in its third regional competition in Kankakee, Ill., and earned a spot in the Collegiate Aerobatic National Competition. Four of the UND collegiate competitors performed before a panel of judges and scored exceptionally well.
Neil Acomb won the Primary Aerobatic Category and earned the “Grass Roots Award.” This award is given to the pilot with highest scoring percentage in an aircraft with 180 horsepower or less. Jordan Weis placed third in Primary with an excellent score. Ashley Kennie narrowly missed placing in the Primary Category but held excellent percentages that will be compared against other collegiate teams at the end of the season. Jeremy Baker earned second in the Sportsman Category and also held an excellent scoring percentage. He scored higher than the 2007 Sportsman National Champion that was flying a high-performance Pitts aircraft.
“Our team has exhibited an excellent work ethic and determination over the last several months in preparation for the IAC Regional Aerobatic Competitions,” said Ryan Carlson, UND aerobatic team coach. “In addition to being pleased with our team’s flying performance at the individual contests, I am impressed with the representation of themselves and the University of North Dakota. Based on their scoring percentages over the 2008 season, I feel that the team is in strong contention for the National Collegiate Aerobatic Championship.”
Now that UND’s third competition for 2008 is complete, they have qualified for the Collegiate Aerobatic National Championship. Their scores will be compared against other collegiate programs and, based on the results, the National Champion will be crowned. Normally, the results are published near the end of 2008.
The UND Aerobatic Team is coached by Ryan Carlson, with Joe Vacek as its faculty advisor.
The team competes at the collegiate level at aerobatic competitions around the United States at International Aerobatic Club-sanctioned events. Other schools (Embry Riddle – Prescott and Daytona, Air Force, Southern Illinois University) will compete in front of judges at other competitions throughout the country during the summer. The scores are then computed at the end of the year and compared against one another.
-- Karen Ryba, director of communications, aerospace, email@example.com, 777-4761