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Kent State Precision Flight Team Receives Prestigious Trophy

Posted Apr. 19, 2011

On April 15, 2011, Kent State University’s Precision Flight Team received the prestigious Loening Trophy, a perpetual trophy presented annually to the outstanding all-around collegiate aviation program in the nation. The Loening Trophy is the rarest and oldest of all collegiate aviation awards. Students from the flight team were joined by Kent State President Lester A. Lefton, College of Technology Interim Dean Don Bubenzer, faculty advisor Dr. Richard Mangrum and others for the trophy’s official presentation to the university in the Kent Student Center.

Kent State University President and Provost with Precision Flight TeamThe Kent State Precision Flight team won the highly coveted award at the National Intercollegiate Flying Association’s 2010 SAFECON (Safety and Flight Evaluation Conference) competition in Terra Haute, Ind. More than 450 students representing 29 aviation colleges and universities from across the country competed against each other in 13 different flying and non-flying events. Events included landing, navigation, planning and aircraft recognition.

The pure silver, Tiffany-designed Loening Trophy was commissioned and first awarded in 1929 when aviation pioneer and inventor Dr. Grover Loening saw a need to annually recognize the most outstanding achievements of today’s college aviation programs. Dr. Loening, who was the first aeronautical engineer for the Wright Brothers, asked his friends and famous pilots Charles Lindbergh, Amelia Earhart and Navy Commander John Towers to assist Loening in judging the first competition. The original Loening Trophy is still awarded today and is considered the most prestigious award at the annual SAFECON competition.

The award represents superb achievement in aeronautical skills and represents the current benchmark for an overall outstanding collegiate aviation program. Keys for selecting the award recipient include emphasis placed on academics, community involvement, aviation skills and their advancement, a comprehensive safety program and professionalism combined with a proactive enhancement of the future of aviation.

The Loening Trophy will be on display in Van Deusen Hall beginning April 18 until early May when it will be returned to the SAFECON event in Columbus, Ohio, for the 2011 competition.

For more information on Kent State’s aeronautics program, visit

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Photo Caption:
Kent State University President Lester A. Lefton (left) and Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Robert G. Frank (right) join members of Kent State University’s Precision Flight Team in accepting the prestigious Loening Trophy.

Media Contact:
Emily Vincent,, 330-672-8595