Region 6 NIFA competition results

Happy Halloween week everyone! I hope you all came up with some creative costumes, and can you believe that it’s already fixing to be November and almost the end of this semester? man time flies. As I promised last week, this week I will be posting the official results, as well as my experience, competing in the region 6 NIFA competition. But before I discuss the region 6 results, I want to give you a little history of how NIFA was established and exactly what they do. 

HISTORY

In 1919 with young aviators returning from WW I, wanted to expand their skills and training used in combat flying to expand aviation on the university level. In 1919 twelve students at Columbia University came together and established the Aero Club of Columbia the first official university aviation club in the nation. Shortly after the establishment of the Aero Club of Columbia, universities such as Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Lehigh, and other universities and colleges across the United States established aviation clubs. In May of 1920, nine schools competed at Mitchel Field in the first ever National Collegiate Flight Association (NIFA) (yes NIFA has been around for almost 100 years) where Yale won the very first competition. Ever since that first competition, NIFA has evolved to where now over eighty school compete in ten different regions across the country

Region 6  NIFA contest

So now that I’ve introduced a little history of NIFA, I want to present to you the day-by day activities from the region 6 competition hosted by the University of Oklahoma from October 16-20, as well as the results from the competition. Let me say this much due to weather it was a wild and wacky regional competition. Here are the following schools that competed in the region 6 competition:

University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University, Kansas State at Salina, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Southeastern Oklahoma State University, University of Central Missouri, Parks College St. Louis University.

Monday- Monday presented gusty winds, even at some points the winds were reporting at gust of 30-35 knots which cancelled the message drop competition (which I was competing in). Message drop was then moved to Wednesday. Throughout the rest of the day we took all of our ground test which included Aircraft recognition, E6B test (I took this test), and the SCAN test. Since message drop was supposed to be during the afternoon we ended the day early.

Tuesday- With the weather perfect, the teams competed in the Navigation event which lasted all day. While teams were out competing in the Navigation event, other events were going on which included the preflight inspection and the simulator event. 

Wednesday- With a cold front pushing through later in the late afternoon and evening hours that also presented a slight chance of thunderstorms, Wednesday was by far the longest day since it included all of our landing events as well as the addition of the message drop competition form Monday. With the weather outlook calling for winds to come out of the north we marked up the southwest runway ( runway 3)  and we began the landing competition. However, as we began the power off landings, the winds were coming out of the south and a lot of competitors kept floating down the runway and missing the target zone that they needed to land on. About halfway through the power off landings, the schools came together and refused to fly until the runways were remarked in accordance with the winds which caused an hour delay since we had to mark runway 21 for landings. Once the runway was marked we completed the power off landings and the power on landings and went right into the message drop contest. With the front quickly approaching we were rushed to get all the message drop flights in. I was in heat number seven, but during heat number five storms were surrounding the airport and lightning had been spoted a few miles from the airport, the judges officially ended competition since all school were able to get two drops in the event.

Thursday- Thursday evening was the award ceremony which was held at the National Weather Service building on the campus at the University of Oklahoma and everyone was anxious to find out the results of the competition. Since the top three schools from the regional competition would qualify for nationals, we only found out the top three school from our region. Here are the top three schools from region six.

1st place- Oklahoma State University

2nd Place- University of Nebraska at Omaha

3rd place- Kansas State at Salina

 Congratulations to all the schools who competed in the region six competition, especially to the schools who qualified for nationals. I also want to say that we the University of Oklahoma were extremely honored to host this year’s regional competition.

Personal thoughts– So this year was my first year competing with the University of Oklahoma flight team and here are my personal thoughts from this year’s competition. I’m not going to lie when I say I’m a little frustrated since I didn’t compete in any flying events due to weather, but I will say I learned a lot in this year’s contest like how we are a very competitive region, as well as how the E6B test looks. All the experience that I learned in my first year of NIFA I want to transition over into the next few years as well as helping improving our team so that we can hopefully qualify for nationals later in my college career. Like I said I had a blast (despite weather issues) and look forward to competing in future NIFA competitions.

Well guys that’s it for this week and if you want to look up any events, test or results from the region six competition or any other region check out https://nifa.aero/  for all the latest news. Also, check out https://blog.globalair.com/ for other great blogs from around the country. As always guys “Adventure is out there” and have a great Halloween

                                                            Works Cited

https://nifa.aero/ History. Web. October 26th 2016.

https://nifa.aero/ results. Web. October 24th 2016

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A national title that has stood for 65 years

Another incredible week has come to a close. This past week here at the University of Oklahoma we  had the honor of hosting the region 6 National Intercollegiate Flight Association (NIFA) competition, and we had an incredible time hosting the event. I will be posting the official results in my next post since I’m waiting for permission and an email from the region 6 chief judge as well as uploading pictures that everyone took and my personal experience competing in the competition. For this weeks post I thought it would be cool to talk about one of our distinguished guest and speakers from the award banquet, Bill Paul who is an alumni of the University of Oklahoma class of 1952 and who also still holds the national record for the navigation event.

Image, it’s 1951 and you are competing in the NIFA competition on the national stage. The navigation event is where you are given a set of coordinates and points across the area which you must fly over. Before you do the flying portion, you are given one hour to plan where these points are, your estimated time it will take to complete the route, and your fuel burn. Now don’t forget it’s 1951 so you don’t have any GPS, no satellite images, or anything. Bill Paul a junior at the time is competing in the event for the University of Oklahoma has been training for the past few months preparing for the event. After his one hour planning, doing the calculations, and seeing the coordinate points; Bill has estimated that it will take him a total of 1 hour,11  minutes,  and 10 seconds. Bill was the only contestant at the time who turned in a time with seconds.

Bill took off from the airport in Norman (which the University of Oklahoma was hosting the national NIFA competition that year) in Aeronca Champion aircraft. With no stop watch and only the map that he did all of his planning on, Bill completes the event and awaits his time. Bill’s total time was 1 hour, 11 minutes, and 11 seconds. Bill was only one second off of his estimated time and his record still is a national record to this very day.

http://www.hangar9aeroworks.com/aeroncagallery/Dick-Kruse.jpg

(This is the type of aircraft Bill flew)

Unfortunately, the OU aviation department took the trophy that Bill received and was never seen again. When Bill heard that we were hosting this years regional competition he asked us to see if his trophy was still somewhere in the aviation department. After two months of searching throughout our department our director found his trophy. As part of this years award banquet we asked Bill Paul to attend the ceremony and officially claim his trophy 65 years later.

It was such an honor for us to have Bill Paul and especially for him to speak about his experience 65 years ago. Even though he was very honored to receive the trophy, he actually asked for us to keep his award so that he could show his grand children as well as motivating us to keep on flying and competing in events like NIFA.

(Bill is the third man on the left side holding the trophy)

Well everyone that’s it for this week like I said I will be posting official results from our regional contest, if you would like to see the results from this weeks contest please visit https://nifa.aero/ also visit globalair. com for other people’s blog on aviation related subjects at https://blog.globalair.com/. Remember guys as always “Adventure is out there”.

First time into Class Bravo airspace

What a week! having to take three midterms, practicing for NIFA competition, and having to keep up with flying along with bad weather can be exhausting. So now that midterms are over I want to talk about one of my flights this past week where I got to experience flying into class Bravo airspace. For those of you who are unfamiliar with class Bravo airspace, It is one of the most busiest air spaces that you can fly into and are typically found in large cities and airports (Examples would include New York, Dallas, Los Angeles). Here are also some facts, as well as a diagram of Dallas class Bravo airspace to help sense of how busy class Bravo airspace can get

Facts-Class B airspace extends 30 nautical miles from the airport in every direction, you must get clearance from air traffic control to enter, your aircraft must have a mode C transponder, and two way radio communication, and at the center airspace extends from the surface to 10,000 mean sea level.

Image result for dallas airspace

As past of my flight training for this semester I had to do a three hour cross country night flight with my instructor and he decided that we would fly from Norman (KOUN) to Addison (KADS ) which is just to the east of Dallas Fort Worth International airport (near marker number 2) and back to Norman. During our first half of the flight it actually took us nearly two hours to make it to Addison since we were battling a strong South headwind. In fact our ground speed was only about 86kts the whole way down so we were almost as slow as the cars that were traveling down Highway 35 which connects Dallas and Oklahoma City.

Once we got close to the Class Bravo airspace, we asked for clearance into the airspace and we were actually denied the first time because of busy they were, so we had to descend down to 2,000 feet and stay outside the airspace. After we finally received clearance into the airspace, we then switched over to regional approach and that’s when things got crazy. In my one year of flying I’ve never heard air traffic control so busy since he was giving direction to multiple commercial airliners, while also trying to monitor our aircraft. Another major difference that I noticed with the flight was how difficult it was to find the airport. I’m sure many of you know that Dallas is a busy city, with thousands of people living in the area, along with multiple buildings. As we got closer to the airport, my instructor and I actually had a hard time finding the airport since there were so many lights and cars moving around. Typically when you fly at night you search for the rotating beacon indicating that it is an airport, but we didn’t see it until we were about six miles North of the airport.

After we did a touch and go we ran into another problem once we got back into the air. Now that we were heading back North we had to stay out of the way of Dallas Love Field arriving aircraft’s since Love field was just a little bit to our south. We even had a Southwest Boeing 737 go right pass us at only 500 feet above us and believe me we felt the wake turbulence from that aircraft. Luckily it didn’t take us tong to get outside the airspace and now that we were flying with the wind, it only took us about an hour to get back to Norman since our ground speed was at around 130 knots.

So flying into class B airspace was definitely a wacky, crazy and awesome experience for, but I definitely experienced just how busy it can get as well as how important it is to listen to air traffic controller because you can’t waist there time since they are monitoring so many other aircraft’s. In addition I also experienced some severe wake turbulence for the first time so I realized just how dangerous and possibly deadly it can be to other aircraft’s.

Well everyone that’s it for this week, I also want to say that next week is going to be a huge weekend for me and the University of Oklahoma as we get ready to compete and host the regional six NIFA competition. I will be posting pictures, results throughout much of next week so please check it out. Personally I will be competing in the message drop and aircraft recognition portion (visit https://nifa.aero/ for more information about any flight events). Also make sure to visit(http://globalair.com/airport/)   for some cool information about Addison airport or any other airports across the country. Until next time guys remember “Adventure is out there!”.

 

A fun filled Aviation weekend

I want to fist off apologize for such a late post, when you have two midterms one week and three the following week it can sometimes be difficult to get away from studying. Anyway, this past week for me has been absolutely busy with midterms, practicing for our NIFA regional contest, and trying to deal with not flying due to bad weather in the Oklahoma area for the past few days; luckily for us, the University of Oklahoma aviation department was able to host our annual aviation festival on Saturday, October 1st right before all the craziness began.
As I stated in my last post every year the University of Oklahoma aviation department opens the airport for the general public to come and check out incredible planes, helicopters, military aircraft, experience hands on activities and even meet Boomer and Sooner the two horses that pull the Sooner Schooner. It seems that every year the crowds always get larger and larger, and this year most certainly didn’t disappoint since over 3,000 people from across the state came to our open house. I personally took some pictures, and I will try to upload them another day (sorry guys something is not right with my phone), but I encourage you to click this link https://www.facebook.com/OUaviation/ to check out some amazing photos our department took at the event.

Personally, I had an amazing time helping out with the event and was in shock of how many people decided to come to our event this year, even my family made the drive down to come and check it out. To me this was extra special since I was able to show them my daily life as a pilot in training along with getting to give them a personal tour of the facility, taking them up to our control tower, and showing them the cockpit of our aircrafts in the OU fleet. As a volunteer and student of the event, I was also helped with giving others a tour and answering questions people had about our aircraft’s. Our most common aircraft in the OU aircraft fleet is the Piper warrior, which the department owns 12-15 of these aircraft’s. As part of the event we had many of our Piper warriors on the tarmac and allowed for kids and their parents to sit in cockpit. The little kids were overwhelmed with excitement, especially when they pretended to fly the airplane and make airplane noises, so it definitely brought a huge smile to my face. Not going to lie though the only thing that sort of worried us was that at some points we had to make sure they weren’t aggressive on the yokes in order not to damage the airplane, so we kindly reminded them to remember that this is not a play toy.

Along with showing off our airplanes, we also had a lot of various other aviation groups fly in from across the state. Groups like news helicopters, corporate jets, and even a few military aircraft’s form local air force bases brought their huge aircraft’s over for the public to check out. I even think in one of the photos that the department took you can even see Boomer, the OU mascot causing a little trouble in a military chopper. Finally, we had a lot of hands on activities like building your own planes, face painting, simulators and so much more for everyone to keep busy, and looked like everyone who came out had an incredible time.

In the end I was so glad that this year was our largest turn out so far and so many people told us that they look forward to us doing it again next year, and we hope it will be even bigger and better next year so that more people come out and see just how cool aviation is and can be.

Well everyone that’s it for this week’s post again checkout those photos on the Aviation departments website and checkout Globalair.com/blogs for other great post by other aviation lovers. Until next time everyone, remember “Adventure is out there!”