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DSU Hornet Flight Team Earns Bid to SAFECON Nationals

Friday, October 21, 2016

The DSU Department of Aviation’s Hornet Flight Team represented themselves well at the National Intercollegiate Flying Association (NIFA) Region 7 Competition, finishing in 3rd place in the overall standings and earning a bid in the National SAFECON Flight Competition in the spring of 2017.

During the regional competition – held in Schenectady, N.Y. Oct. 14-17 – the Hornets won 1st place in the Safety Category in the team competition. DSU was among seven regional flight schools that competed in the regional competition.

The regional also featured outstanding performances by several DSU Hornet aviators. In addition to the team’s 3rd place finish, the top individual performances included:

  • 1st place, Aircraft Preflight Inspection – Paul Scherry, a senior from Stone Ridge, N.Y.
  • 2nd place, Message Drop – Amad Shammo, a junior from Centreville, Va., and William Arters, a senior from Honey Brook, Pa.
  • 4th place, Navigation – Shannon Diaz, a sophomore from Gloucester, Va., and Pruthvinath Enugula, a senior from Hyderabad, India.
  • 4th place, Aircraft Recognition – William Arters.
  • 5th place, Ground Trainer – DaeShawn Rose, a senior from Philadelphia, Pa.

    DSU, Aviation, SAFECONPaul Scherry, Hornet flight team captain, said he and the seniors on the team will sacrifice their participation in the May Commencement Ceremony, and instead compete in the SAFECON nationals, which is schedule to take place on the same weekend.


The nine-member Hornet Flight Team will travel to the Ohio State University Airport in Columbus, Ohio for the national competition on the weekend of May 9-14.

Unfortunately for the five seniors on the flight team, that is the same weekend of the DSU May Commencement Ceremony. Paul Scherry, the flight team captain and one of the seniors, said while it has given rise to an unfortunate conflict, the seniors will sacrifice the graduation ceremony and instead represent DSU at the national competition in Ohio.

“We are all disappointed, but as much as we would like to walk at Commencement, we have a responsibility to the team and the University to go and finish the job,” Mr. Scherry said. “We have an opportunity to show the country that we have a competitive flight school.”

Mr. Scherry said the Hornet flight team’s current success achieves a goal he has hoped for since he first entered the Aviation Program in 2013. This year is the first time the entire team has earned a national competition bid.

“We had the strongest year the Hornet flight team has ever had,” Mr. Scherry said. “We have pulled ourselves by our own bootstraps to reach the nationals.”

The National Intercollegiate Flying Association (NIFA) was formed for the purposes of developing and advancing aviation education; to promote, encourage and foster safety in aviation; to promote and foster communications and cooperation between aviation students, educators, educational institutions and the aviation industry; and to provide an arena for collegiate aviation competition. 

Every year, NIFA hosts regional Safety and Flight Evaluation Conferences (SAFECON), where teams representing the various Colleges and University Aviation Programs in their region compete against each other for a spot at the National SAFECON event and title.