WMU News

College of Aviation hosts regional flying competition

April 2, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- Precision flight teams from seven colleges and universities will compete at Western Michigan University Tuesday through Saturday, April 9-13, for a chance to win a berth in this spring's National Intercollegiate Flying Association championship.

Seven collegiate teams will compete in NIFA's Region III competition. The event was postponed from its original October 2001 date in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Teams participating in the regional competition will be trying to qualify for the May 14-18 NIFA National Championship that will be held at Ohio State University.

The teams competing in the region III event will represent Ohio State, Ohio University, the University of Cincinnati, Kent State University, Parks College of St. Louis, the U.S. Air Force Academy and WMU.

More than 100 collegiate aviators, their coaches, family members and friends will begin arriving in Battle Creek Sunday, April 7, for the regional competition. Registration begins Monday, April 8, with competition starting the following day. The event concludes with a Saturday, April 13 awards banquet that will feature a talk by Joseph Restifo, director of flight operations for Mesaba Airlines.

NIFA regional and national competitions pit schools against each other in five ground events and four flying events. Team points are earned by competitors who place in the top 10 in each of the events. A team first- or second-place finish at a regional competition means the team qualifies for a spot in the national competition. Since Ohio State already has an automatic berth as this year's host team, a total of three teams from region III will have a chance to compete at nationals.

WMU has placed among the top three teams in national competitions in each of the past 10 years and last won the national title in 1998.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, 269 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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