RANGELY I The Colorado Northwestern Community College aviation team had a successful mission to Columbus, Ohio, two weeks ago as the team from Rangely finished second in the nation for two-year aviation schools at the National Intercollegiate Flight Association competition.
Jason Krueger, CNCC aviation program FBO coordinator, said, “We had a great year and … I am very encouraged for next year because we should have eight of the 12 aviation students back and we have set high goals.”
A couple of notable finishes were freshman Ben Fitzgibbons and freshman Camille Elliott, who finished 12th in the nation in message drop. Second-year James Zorn placed No. 3 in the nation in the simulated comprehensive aircraft navigation test, described by Krueger as “a very hard test on aviation regulations and flight planning.”
“Not only did our flight team gain valuable experience flying to and from Columbus, Ohio, but there were roughly 25 charter, regional and major air carriers looking to hire. I don’t know if there is a better job fair for pilots in the nation currently, so that was a great experience. Our students made several contacts in the aviation community and look forward to bringing resumes with them next year.”
Because the college pilots had flown CNCC planes to Ohio to participate in the competition, travel back to Rangely was slow due to weather-related problems in the Midwest, Krueger said.
“Our newly painted Cessna 172XP was a huge hit out east,” he said. “Of the 27 colleges nationwide that were invited to the event, I heard comments from most of them that we had an awesome paint job.”
“So once again thank you to the CNCC administration and the college board for putting us in the headlines. I am very proud of the group and now the fundraising starts for next year.”