TSTC to Compete in NIFA Regional Competition

(WACO) –  Fabian Kiedels and Ethan Wood are ready to help fly Texas State Technical College to victory.

TSTC will compete against Central Texas College, Hinds Community College, LeTourneau University and Louisiana Tech University in the National Intercollegiate Flying Association Region 4 Safety and Flight Evaluation Conference (SAFECON) from Oct. 29 to Nov. 2 at Skylark Field Airport in Killeen.

Events include computer accuracy, landings, general safety, aviation knowledge, aircraft identification and navigation. All outdoor events and schedule changes are contingent on the weather.

Kiedels and Wood are returning competitors.

“It was overwhelming because it was new but exciting,” said Kiedels, 22, of The Woodlands.

Kiedels will compete in the power-off and power-on landing contest. He said being part of SAFECON enables him to learn and practice beyond the classroom, particularly on landings.

Wood, 20, of Dalhart will represent TSTC in the navigation event. Wood said taking part in the contest last year showed him what he needed to dedicate himself to in studying aviation. He said newer students have asked him lots of questions about what to expect from the intense competition.

The team has prepared in the classroom and in private ground school, with some practice days lasting until sunset.

Jessica Ogden, a TSTC flight instructor, was on last year’s SAFECON team as a student and is an adviser for this year’s group.

“I hope all the students are able to learn something new from their time spent in Killeen,” she said. “I hope they meet new people in aviation and make friendships that last a lifetime through this event. Even though it’s a competition, it never fails to be fun. I hope this team learns to enjoy their time as a student in aviation.”

Other TSTC students taking part include Grant Gonzales, Ken Hannes, Bebo Hudson, Michael Lairsen and Lauren Yates. Also advising the team is Shelby-Lynn Hubbard, a TSTC flight instructor.

The top three teams will be invited to compete at the 2019 national SAFECON.

For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to tstc.edu.