AUBURN, Ala. – Auburn University’s War Eagle Flying Team has a chance to soar into history as they will compete on the national level this spring.  The student based team placed third in the National Intercollegiate Flying Association Regional Championship this past October.

Members of the War Eagle Flying Team spend every Sunday afternoon at Auburn University’s airport washing planes in order to earn hours to fly the planes.  Ashley Tucker has flown with Auburn since 2013.

“I’m a very competitive person.  I really enjoy the competition aspect of it.  I love to fly.  Anytime I can get in an airplane, I want to be in it,” Tucker said.

She enjoys the landing competitions.

“Really setting yourself up for high standards and trying to beat your own personal records and then as well as encouraging your teammates to do really well,” Tucker explained.

Two-time “Top Pilot” winner Peter Wolbart is one of those teammates.

“A lot of people don’t have the opportunity to say that they fly airplanes everyday,” he said. “If I had to pick one thing, I couldn’t really tell you.  There’s so many things I love about it,” Wolbart explained.

The flight program has been at Auburn for 75 years.

“The FAA as well as industry experts expect the industry to double the number of pilots we need to double in the next 20 years,” said Aviation Management lecturer, James Birdsong.

Birdsong says now is a great opportunity for pilots in training.

“The larger population that travels will benefit down the road as folks grow in and you might see one of them one day flying your jet when you step on it in Atlanta or somewhere,” Birdsong said.

One of those pilots might be Wolbart who says one of his favorite things about flying is the breathtaking views.

“One day going up on a crummy day.  Overcast cloud and just flying up through them and breaking through the clouds was a beautiful sunset above them so, everyday is a beautiful day when you get above that overcast layer,” Wolbart described.

The team will head to Columbus, OH for Nationals in May.  They will be competing against other top schools like the US Air Force Academy, Purdue University, and Ohio State University.