Published on November 19th, 2012 | by Lauren Barnes0
Flight Team Glides into NIFA National Competitions: Members Take Second Place Finish
Lauren Barnes, Asst. News Editor
Pictured above by Lewis University Flight Team: The Lewis University Flight team took second place at the regional competition at Indiana State University.
The Lewis University Flight Team took second place at the regional competition at Indiana State University on Oct. 20 and qualified for the National Intercollegiate Flying Association National Competitions.
Lewis was one of six universities competing in the regional competitions. Other participants included Indiana State University, University of Illinois, Purdue University, Middle Tennessee State University and Southern Illinois University.
“Every school in the region is invited to compete at regionals,” said head coach Megan Montgomery, a specialist in simulated comprehensive aircraft navigation and ground trainer. “We have been invited to nationals five of the last six years.”
The regional competitions entailed several ground and flight events. Students competed in four ground events: Preflight, Simulator, Aircraft Recognition, Simulated Comprehensive Aircraft Navigation and Computer Accuracy. Four flight events rounded off the competition. These consisted of Power off landings, Short field landings, Navigation and Message Drop.
“The weather during the competition was challenging, but fortunately we were able to complete all of the events safely due to the high level of experience, skill and professionalism of the students who earned a position on our team this year,” Montgomery said. “The team worked very hard to prepare, and it paid off with second place and an invitation to nationals at Ohio State in May.”
Letters of accomplishment were given to the top 10 competitors, with the top five competitors each receiving a trophy. There was also a trophy given to the top three schools for their position they attained at the end; Lewis came in with the second-positioned trophy.
“I was very proud of the competitors; they worked very hard to attain this, and they deserve to go to the National Competitions in May because of their performance,” said team adviser Alfred Szoldatits.
Thirty colleges and universities throughout the country received invitations to participate in the NIFA competitions.
The Lewis Flight Team consists of aviation majors Jacob Luedtke, James Vandeventer, Erik Rasmussen, Robert Beckmann, Nirav Patel, Andrew Baniecki, Matthew Pall, Kayan Todiwalla, Alex Kwiatkowski, George Chiampas, Ethan Olson, Nathan Bennett-Swanson, Brian Helander and Jack Mullen.