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In Only Second Year Of NIFA Membership, UVU Aviation Students Competing At Nationals

22 April 2013 No Comment

April 22, 2013

For Immediate Release

University Marketing & Communications: Mike Rigert

Written by: Mike Rigert

In only the second year that Utah Valley University aviation science students have participated in National Intercollegiate Flying Association competitions, the UVU NIFA flight team will be taking to the skies Wednesday, May 1, to journey to the association’s national competition in Columbus, Ohio.

In October, the UVU team placed third at a regional NIFA competition with the UVU School of Aviation hosting the event at Provo Airport, qualifying the team to participate in NIFA’s 2013 Safety and Flight Evaluation Conference, or SAFECON, May 6-11 at The Ohio State University Airport. SAFECON brings together more than 300 students from 32 colleges and universities to vie to be national champions for both team and individual pilot honors.

The UVU team preparing for the nationals is composed of 11 students and six faculty and staff members in a support role. Students and faculty will depart for Ohio in UVU aircraft on Wednesday, May 1, from the Provo Airport after a brief send-off ceremony (8 a.m. to 10 a.m.) for the team that the public is welcome to attend. Students and faculty will caravan from airport to airport to the Midwest, providing students with valuable cross-country flying experience and flight hours.

Also advancing from last year’s regional competition on UVU’s home tarmac were the U.S. Air Force Academy and Metro State University (Denver, Colo.) teams, finishing first and second, respectively.

“Only the top three teams at the regional competition qualify for the nationals, so this is huge for our students,” said Greg Schwab, chair of UVU’s School of Aviation Science, one of the largest university-based flights schools in the nation. “We believe that we are one of the premier college aviation programs in the country, and with the opportunity for our students to compete at nationals, we plan to underscore that point.”

Competitions are composed of six ground events, including preflight aircraft inspection and flight simulation, two flight events and a landing portion. One of the most interesting elements of the flying events for observers and the general public is when student pilots attempt to precision drop cargo on a designated target.

For more information about NIFA’s 2013 SAFECON, visit www.safecon2013.com. For video footage of the regional NIFA competition at Provo Airport in October 2012, visit youtube.com/watch?v=fcSiXzfVRDw.

The UVU UVU NIFA flight team after qualifying for nationals at the regional competition in October at Provo Airport.

The students, faculty and staff that will participate in the NIFA nationals competition May 6-11 in Columbus, Ohio.

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