UVU Sponsored Plane Races in Reno

A UVU Aviation Sponsored Plane recently competed in the Reno Air Races.

For the first time ever, the UVU Aviation Science Department sponsored a plane in the Reno Air Races. The UVU logo was proudly displayed on the McDonald Racer #37 National Air Race Championship Competitor in the T-6 Gold Class.

Despite a week plagued by high winds and several crashes, the UVU sponsored plane finished second overall after qualifying third. His qualifying speed was 233.4mph.

Steve Smith (Department Chairman), Greg Schwab (Assistant Dean), and Captain Jim Green of the Aviation Science Department attended the races and were able to set up a display next to the plane on the flightline where they introduced the UVU Aviation program to thousands of attendees.

The week before the races, the plane and pilot made a stop to visit UVU’s Aviation Department. Students got a chance to check out the UVU sponsored plane and Pilot John Zayac even spent an hour in a classroom answering questions and giving the aviation students some real world advice.

Reno’s week of spectacular aviation is officially known as the 2010 National Championship Air Races & Air Show and features airshows and aircraft racing of all kinds. This is the first time UVU, or any university, has sponsored a plane.

“This was a chance for nearly a half million people to be exposed to our programs,” said Greg Schwab, Assistant Dean of Aviation at UVU. “The attendance at the Reno show was phenomenal and since it’s nearly in our backyard we felt this would be a great way to reach potential students.”

John Zayac is the man in the cockpit. Zayac began his racing career in the 2000 Reno Air Races racing the SNJ/T-6 known as the “Thumper”- Race 12.  Flying the “Thumper” in 2003 he won first place in the T-6 Bronze class, and steadily moved up through the Silver Class.  Later, in 2006, Zayac began flying the SNJ/T-6, known as the “McDonald Racer”- Race 37 and he began racing in the T-6 Gold Class, reaching speeds of up to 238.836 mph. Throughout the last ten years of Zayac’s racing career he has been fortunate to work with outstanding crew members and friends to continue towards their team goal of not only taking first place in the T-6 Gold Class, but to break and maintain the current speed record of 244.523 mph.

Check out pix of the plane in Reno and it’s visit to UVU Aviation by CLICKING HERE. (hint: to see larger pix, click on “Slideshow” in the upper right corner)

To see race results: CLICK HERE

The UVU Aviation Science program currently is the third largest college Aviation program in the country… and closing in on the number 2 spot. UVU students can earn Bachelor degrees in several aviation categories including Professional Pilot, Aviation Administration and others.

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