We’ve added a new page to our website! For the next week or so we will host a semi-live blog of the NIFA Region VII flight competition! Here’s why we’ve done this…
Each fall* teams representing the collegiate flight programs from across the Northeast United States flock to one airport for a flight competition, also known as a SAFECON (Safety Contest, I believe is what that stands for…). Since I was a freshman at Bridgewater State College (now University) years ago, this has been one of my favorite events to take part in.
The National Intercollegiate Flying Association (NIFA) Region VII consists of the six New England states plus New York, New Jersey and Delaware. The member schools include:
- Bridgewater State University
- Delaware State University
- Dowling College
- Farmingdale State College
- Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
- Schenectady Country Community College
- United States Military Academy (West Point)
The regional competition is this upcoming weekend, the event begins on Friday, October 24th and runs through Monday, October 27th. If you are regular ReviewBeforeFlight reader you may remember a recent post where I unveiled the new Team Sportsmanship Award that this website will be sponsoring.
As a student I was always excited about NIFA competitions; consistently wanting to bring home some hardware and make sure I helped our team earn a trip to the national flight team competition. The top schools from each region (typically first and second, sometimes third place as well) are invited to the national event during the following spring.
As a student at Bridgewater I was a member of the flight team each of my four years and served as the team captain for three of those years. I am proud to say that I competed in the regional event each year and our team earned a bid to the national event every year, though one year we were unable to attend due to a lack of funding… Missing nationals during my junior year helped motivate me and the rest of the team to work even harder the next year to propel our team to the best finish in school history (still) and earn another bid to nationals. Of course winning the short field landing event at my home airport (1B9) that year (we were the host school) was also pretty cool!
Since graduating I have continued to enjoy taking part in the regional competitions. Now though, I am on the other side of the score sheet as an event judge. It isn’t the same as being in the aircraft competing, but it is still a lot of fun and something that I look forward to each fall. You can read more about giving back to the aviation community and judging flight competitions, with a post I wrote earlier in the year following another (similar) event where I volunteered at this past spring.
For the next week or so, I’ll be using this website to keep competitors, judges and fan, yes fans, up to speed on what is happening at the event. You can visit the sub-page titled “NIFA R7” on the main website menu for semi-live blogging of this year’s Region VII competition. We are aiming to post pictures, event updates and news throughout the event. This has never been done before at Region VII, but you can expect pictures “from the landing line” during the landing event, as well as other images throughout the event. So stay tuned & for those of you competing, good luck and just know that every judge out there wishes we could be in your place competing again!
* – The NIFA Region VII event is typically held during the fall, the 2012 event was pushed back and actually held during the spring of 2013, shortly before the national competition…
-Fly & Compete Safe, @MTElia1B9