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ECSU hosts regional competition for aviators
Kesha Williams
October 8, 2012

Air Viking I Elizabeth City State University’s Aviation Science Program will host a regional competition of the National Intercollegiate Flying Association (NIFA) Oct. 10 through 13. Six ground event competitions will be held at ECSU and four flying events will be held at 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 are expected to compete in the Region X Safety and Flight Evaluation Conference (SAFECON).

Each of the participating institutions is likely to bring two airplanes to Elizabeth City for the 10 events. The aviators will use ECSU’s flight simulator for several components of the competition, including the tasks of flying at specified altitudes and air speeds and in specified directions. The top three teams in the regional event will be invited to the national competition scheduled for May 2013 at Ohio State University.

ECSU’s aeronautics team will have nine students. Last year and in 2009, the team won the NIFA SAFECON Red Baron Award, which recognizes team sportsmanship.

Dr. J Anthony Sharp, a professor and director of ECSU’s Aviation Science Program, said ECSU is pleased to host the event.

“We look forward to holding this event here, as well as the awards ceremony,” he said. “We are looking forward to our students meeting their peers from other NIFA universities.”

In addition to ECSU and the U.S. Naval Academy, the region includes Averett University, Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute, Guilford Technical Community College, Hampton University, Liberty University and Lenoir Community College.

NIFA was established to develop and advance aviation education; to promote, encourage and foster safety in aviation; to promote and foster communications and cooperation between aviation students, educators, educational institutions and the aviation industry; and to provide an arena for collegiate aviation competition.

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