Indiana State University Newsroom

Student, coach capture awards in regional flight competition

November 16, 2009

An Indiana State University aviation technology student and the university flight team's coach came away with awards from a recent flight competition in suburban Chicago.

Jessica Campbell, a senior from Grandview and the Sycamore Flight Team's captain, was judged best female pilot at the National Intercollegiate Flying Association Region VIII SAFECON Competition Oct. 20-24 in Romeoville, Ill. Vern Bothwell, aviation technology instructor, won the coach of the year award at the event.
In addition, Campbell received the Scott Perry Award for Leadership and placed in the top 10 in five events: SCAN Test, Computer Accuracy Test, Ground Trainer Event, Power Off Accuracy Landings and Power On Accuracy Landings.

Other team members who placed in the top 10 were: Jeff Gardner of Fishers, Ground Trainer Event, Navigation Event, and Message Drop Event; Ben Forth of Indianapolis, Message Drop Event; Chris Allen of Annandale, Va., Message Drop Event and Power On Accuracy Landings; Pat Doyle of Batesville, Message Drop Event; and Josh Heisler of Newburgh, Navigation Event.

Indiana State's team was the smallest to compete in the event and Campbell praised the entire 10-member team.

"I want to congratulate the rest of the team on an excellent job at regionals. They all really worked hard," she said.

Bothwell agreed. "Jessica and her team did all the work - the ground training, the flight training, organizing for the competition - I was, basically, just the cheerleader," he said. "The Aviation department is very proud of them all"

Indiana State will host and compete in the association's national SAFECON competition in May.

"Our goal is to place in the top third in the nation and we can do it," Campbell said.

She has experience in competing - and doing well - at the national level. Earlier this year, Campbell and Victoria Dunbar, an ISU aviation instructor, won the collegiate division of the Air Race Classic cross-country flying event and placed second overall.

Photos: -Jessica Campbell - Vern Bothwell

Contact: Vern Bothwell, instructor, aviation technology, College of Technology, Indiana State University, 812-237-8200 or

Writer: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3743 or