Since the 1940s, the Flying Sooners Flight Team has represented the University of Oklahoma amongst the greatest in the collegiate aviation community. Based at the university's Max Westheimer Airport on Norman's North Campus, the Flying Sooners represent a small fraction of the skilled and professional pilots molded by the university's Department of Aviation each year. The department offers majors in Professional Pilot studies, Aviation Management, and Air Traffic Control.
Each year, the flight team travels to compete in the National Intercollegiate Flying Association's Region VI SAFECON competition. At this event, Sooner pilots compete against top collegiate aviators from around the country in several flying events including accuracy landing, navigation, and aerial drop competitions. On the ground, the team competes in events including federal regulation, recognition, and navigation tests. During the regional SAFECON, fifteen Flying Sooners travel as far as Council Bluffs, Iowa with three aircraft and a university fleet van. Once they arrive, the team stays in hotels for the week and participates in daily event briefs, safety meetings, flight and ground competitions.
The team also competes annually in the Okie Derby accuracy fuel burn and cross-country navigation event, a one-day competition in which two crews from the team compete amongst general aviation pilots and enthusiasts from around the state.
To raise funds to cover competition expenses, the flight team regularly hosts donation-based airplane washes at Max Westheimer which are open to all pilots and airplanes of all sizes. Additionally, the team sells calendars at the end of each year featuring photos of the various aircraft operated by the university and of the airport. Funds raised cover numerous expenses incurred by the team each year, including the cost of team uniforms, flight practice cost (fuel, airframe time), registration fees, transportation cost, the cost of hotels and meals during the week of competition, and other related expenses.
The team is excited to launch our first Thousands Strong fundraising campaign, and we'd be honored to receive your support.