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Legacy of Flight
By Meghan Sanford, Writer
November 1, 2016
As of recently, flight programs in Kentucky high schools have grown at an unbelievable rate. As little as five years ago, Taylor County was one of only a couple schools that participated in the annual Wing Design Competition hosted by the National Air and Space Engineering Institute, which has since grown into a nationally recognized academy dedicated to the teaching of students. To further publicize these awards, NASEI hosts an annual dinner/fundraiser where the winners of the competitions are recognized in front of board members and other figures who rank high the the world of aviation.
As a part of the overall competition, students competed in a UAV obstacle course which consisted of a series of tunnels and patterns that the drone had to maneuver through. This course was completed by three members of the “Drone Team”, as they call themselves. Members of the Drone Team include Jacob Ferrante (who scored perfectly in the course), Matt Hale and Dakota Santiago, who brought Taylor County the first place trophy in this new and innovative competition.
Additionally, Taylor County also managed to bring home the overall competition by winning the 2016 Aviation Championship Cup. This cup was awarded to the school with the best aviation team in the state, and included the biggest trophy Taylor County has ever seen. “I could probably sit inside that thing and take a bubble bath,” said junior Jacob Ferrante.
In to addition to Championship Cup, former aviation teacher Deborah Hinton won the Exceptional Teacher of the Year award at the banquet. “She was the driving force behind the program. She kept everyone on track because she genuinely cared about all the students and what became of them.”