Winners Announced For Midwest Aviation Invitational


OTTUMWA, IA – For the second straight year, a select group of top aviation technicians emerged from the 2015 Midwest Aviation Invitational held on October 16th. Hosted by Indian Hills Community College (IHCC) at its campus adjacent to the Ottumwa Regional Airport, this event – comprised of 29 competitors – was open to industry personnel, including professional technicians and repairmen, students, and military service members with a focus on aviation maintenance.

Open to the public, the competition produced Haven Hicks as this year’s top technician with the Most Professional Technician Award and 1st place through each of the 8 event challenges. Employed by Classic Aviation (Pella, IA), Hicks was joined at the top by his colleague Trever Nickel in 2nd place. Third place went to Joshua Kruse (Air Advantage, Mt. Pleasant, IA).

In the student division, the top place-winners were: Brian Barry (Lake Area Technical Institute, Watertown SD), George Francis (Indian Hills Community College, Ottumwa Iowa), Andy Ufkin (Lake Area Technical Institute, Watertown SD), and Geonell Ricardo (Indian Hills Community College, Ottumwa Iowa), respectively.

“Our event challenges are designed to demonstrate the skill and knowledge necessary for the proper maintenance of today’s aircraft and for the safety of the flying public,” said Terry Dunkin, event chair of the MAI.

The events included Aircraft Weight and Balance, Safety Wiring, Electrical Troubleshooting, Magneto Timing, Fluid Lines and Fittings, Flight Control Rigging, Sheet Metal Repair, and Turbine Engine Component Exchange.

On Thursday, October 15th, the Indian Hills Community College and the MAI hosted several companies which were allowed to showcase their products and conduct student job interviews. Representatives from Pan American Tool Corporation, Elliott Aviation, Duncan Aviation, and Snap-on were also on site to assist during the invitational.

“We would like to extend a big ‘thank you’ to our judges and volunteers for their vital assistance in making this event a success. Congratulations to this year’s winners,” said Dunkin. For more information about the MAI, the web site is Sponsors and competitors as well as spectators are always welcome.