Cards on the table, folks, I’m cheering this year. In college, I was a NIFA competitor and member of Embry-Riddle Prescott’s Golden Eagles Flight Team. I still keep track of how my old team is doing. Okay…and the other teams too. What fun is team competition without a few well-loved rivalries?
For those who aren’t familiar with it, the National Intercollegiate Flying Association (NIFA) holds its national Safety and Flight Evaluation Conference (SAFECON) every year. At the conference, college teams compete in a series of scored flight and ground events. Events range from aircraft identification and flight math to landings and navigation. There’s even a message drop competition. This year, twenty-seven schools showed up to the Ohio State University Airport for the six-day conference. A total of 388 students competed.
The results: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott went home with the National Championship Trophy, followed by the University of North Dakota in second place and Southern Illinois University in third. The Safety Award—presented to the team that best demonstrates safety culture both on the ramp at competition and through a presentation on the operation of the team throughout the year—went to Liberty University.
Congrats to the winners and to everyone who competed! It takes time, dedication, and study to make it to Nationals. Well done.
Learn more at NIFA.