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When Harbert College of Business senior Blake Schuette finished second in the Top Pilot category during a regional competition in the fall, she considered it to be as much a byproduct of experience as talent.
“This was my fourth regional,” she said after helping Auburn University’s War Eagle Flying Team earn second place honors in the National Intercollegiate Flying Association’s SAFECON Region IX Competition.
“This must have been my year.”
It appears as if 2014 is shaping up to be even better for the War Eagle Flying Team’s captain. Schuette, a marketing and management double major and flight instructor, recently earned the 2014 Candi Chamberlin Kubeck Award as the nation’s top female pilot in collegiate aviation. She was honored before the A-Day football game by Auburn University President Jay Gogue.
The award, presented by the NIFA Foundation, carries a $1,000 scholarship and honors the memory of Candi Chamberlin Kubeck, the first female airline captain to lose her life in the line of duty. Kubeck perished in the crash of ValueJet 592 in the Florida Everglades in May 1996. The flight crashed after oxygen generators illegally placed in a cargo hold started a fire that inundated the cockpit and cabin with smoke.
Schuette will lead the War Eagle Flying Team to the NIFA national competition May 12-17 in Columbus, Ohio. In addition to finishing second in the Top Pilot competition at regionals, she won the power off precision landing category, placed sixth in short field landings and seventh in navigation. Schuette nearly won the Top Pilot Award during the NIFA SAFECON Region IX Competition in fall 2013, finishing second in the category.