Two students earn NIFA awards
October 16, 2012
Two students from ECSU’s Aviation Science Program earned trophies at the National Intercollegiate Flying Association (Region X) awards ceremony Saturday, October 13. Ian Wreggelsworth won first place for ECSU in the Aircraft Recognition Ranking category. Wreggelsworth and Corey Kellam claimed first place in the Message Drop Ranking category. Wreggelsworth served as the drop master and Kellam served as the pilot in that category. The Message Drop ranking is based upon a flight exercise whereby a team built-object is dropped from a moving airplane on a specific target area. The awards ceremony stemmed from competitions held last week. Six ground event competitions were held at ECSU and four flying events were held at the Elizabeth City Regional Airport. Teams from the U.S. Naval Academy and seven colleges and universities from Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and the District of Columbia were eligible to compete in the Region X Safety and Flight Evaluation Conference (SAFECON). In addition to ECSU, competing teams included the U.S. Naval Academy, Averett University, Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute, Guilford Technical Community College, Hampton University and Liberty University. The National Intercollegiate Flying Association (NIFA) welcomes around 70 schools as competitors in its various air meets. The intent of NIFA is to foster excellence through valuable experience in flight, precision sports, and in-depth knowledge in the pursuit of the safest most competent pilots. The schools under NIFA compete in regional and national safety and flight evaluation conferences (SAFECON’s) or air meets like the one held last week at ECSU. Twelve judges evaluated the students on their performances. Award categories for the ground events were: computer accuracy, aircraft preflight inspection, aircraft recognition, ground trainer, simulated comprehensive aircraft navigation. Award categories for the flight events were message drop navigation power-off precision landing and short field landing. Currently, there are 12 events total consisting of four flying and eight ground events. The teams that accumulate the highest number of total points are champions of that SAFECOB. The regional SAFECON’s are generally held in the fall with the region determined by geographical placement. The scores from the regional conference determine which 30 teams are invited to the national competition. The national SAFECON’s are held each spring. The winner of the national competition is awarded the National Championship for the Year.