Recently, the NIFA (National Intercollegiate Flying Association) National SAFECON Competition took place May 6th-14th. Twenty-five collegiate flight teams from all over the nation gathered at Ohio State University in Columbus to compete against one another in several ground and flying events. The events included Precision Power-on and Power-off landings, Navigation, Computer Accuracy (E6B), Simulated Comprehensive Aircraft Navigation (SCAN), and Ground Trainer (Sim). As a member of the Golden Eagles Flight Team, I had the honor of representing Embry-Riddle Prescott and competing at this year’s nationals; and helping us bring home our tenth win since 1993!
The week started out with the general contestant briefing on Monday at OSU’s Fawcett Center. Here, all competitors and coaches were briefed on safety procedures, rules, event locations, and everything else that related to the competition. “Roll Call” also happens at the briefing, where each school is called upon and some schools (including us) perform short skits or even dances just for the fun of it!
As soon as the briefing was over, the competition officially began with the three core ground events: Computer Accuracy (CA), Simulated Comprehensive Aircraft Navigation (SCAN), and Aircraft Identification (ACID). Each event consists of a 60-minute test relating to various aviation-based knowledge areas. Each team typically has five competitors for each event, and one alternate. First up was CA, which is a math-based event done with an E6B or CR flight computer. Next was ACID, in which contestants are given three seconds to identify an aircraft’s manufacturer, identification number, and common name. Last but not least was SCAN, which requires contestants to plan a flight of three or more legs and answer various regulations, weight and balance, and performance questions pertaining to that flight. I was the alternate competitor for SCAN.
Day two consisted of power-off landings, or OFFS as we like to call them. Despite some bad weather that temporarily put us on hold, we were able to complete all five rounds of OFFS. The main objective with OFFS is to touch the main gear down as close as possible to a white chalk line that’s drawn across the runway, called the “zero line”. The closer you are to the zero line, the better your score will be. There are several penalties that a competitor can get such as adding power or improper crosswind inputs. We had five total competitors represent us for OFFS, in which four placed in the top 20 out of over 100 other competitors!
On the third day, some low ceilings put the competition on hold for most of the morning. However, the ceilings eventually lifted and allowed us to carry on with power-on landings! ONS are very similar to OFFS, with the only difference being that the competitor is now allowed to adjust power on each approach (this isn’t allowed in OFFS). The judges sure had their work cut out for them, but luckily we were able to finish almost all five rounds of ONS. In addition to ONS, I had the pleasure of competing in the ground trainer event with my fellow teammate Nick Moore. We each flew an eight minute instrument pattern on a FRASCA simulator, and we both ended up placing in the top five!
On the fourth day of nationals, we competed in message drop. Possibly NIFA’s most fun event, message drop involves teams of two: a pilot and a drop master. The pilot flies the plane 200 feet above the runway, while the drop master drops a container out of the window so that it lands as close as possible to a barrel on the ground.
On the fifth and final day of competition, we competed in Navigation (Nav). Nav was originally supposed to happen earlier in the week, but some bad weather forced the judges to delay it until Friday. For Nav, teams of two (a pilot and a planner) fly an assigned route, using exact coordinates to fly to and pictures on the ground that the teams must find. Grading is strict, with time and fuel graded down to the second and tenth of a gallon!
We had a long, eventful week of competition, and we were all very happy with our performance. After all events were complete, all that remained was the awards banquet!
Saturday was the big day. We couldn’t wait to find out how we did, and if all the hard work we put in this past year payed off. The awards banquet was held at St. Charles Preparatory School in Columbus, in a huge ballroom. After dinner, it was time to announce the results. After much suspense, it was finally time to find out which school would go home national champions. The head judge announced this year’s champions: The Golden Eagles Flight Team!! We all stood in disbelief for a few seconds, waiting for the announcement to sink in. All those late night practices, and all those early morning, all-day Saturday practices had paid off. Almost all our team competitors placed in the top twenty or the top ten in each event, and we were also privileged to win the judges trophy! In addition, we took home first place in overall ground events and third place in overall flight events. As we all hugged each other and as congratulations were said, we felt absolutely overjoyed to take home GEFT’s tenth national championship. Not only did we return national champions, we returned as the most “winningest” collegiate flight team in history. Here’s to this year’s NIFA National SAFECON, and here’s to bringing home number eleven next year!
For more about NIFA, check out: www.nifa.aero
For a full list of results, check out: https://nifa.aero/wp-content/uploads/SAFECON-2016-Results.html
And be sure to “like” our Facebook page!
Attention all future pilots!
So you want to become a pilot. Like myself, most of you probably want to become a professional pilot. Or maybe you just want to fly for fun. Whatever your story is, the road to becoming a pilot of any kind is long and winding, yet exciting and unforgettable. You will be challenged like never before, and your motivation will be put to the test. Despite this, I can guarantee you will have an amazing time throughout your training process. You will see things you’ve never seen before, try things you’ve never tried before, and feel things you’ve never felt before. I can say that my flight training journey has been an utterly unforgettable experience so far, and as I wrap up my commercial single-engine training and transition into multi-engine, I am more than excited to see what the next chapter of my story will include.
If you’re ready to embark on your flight training journey, there are a few things you should be familiar with in order to be successful as a student pilot. Here are six important things you must know in order to survive becoming an aviator:
#1: Find the Right Instructor
The most important person that you’ll work with throughout your training is, of course, your instructor! It is crucial that you find an instructor you know you’ll work
well with both on the ground and in the airplane. Ideally, your personalities should mix well and you should feel comfortable with your instructor’s teaching methods. A good instructor is a person who doesn’t intimidate you or make you feel stupid. If you are assigned to an instructor who clashes with your personality or your learning style, your training process will be slower and less enjoyable. If you don’t enjoy spending time with your instructor for any reason, don’t be afraid to switch to another instructor who will work better with you! You will find that working with the right instructor will make your training so much more productive and exciting.
#2: Communicate with your Instructor
#3: Study Outside of Oral Lessons/Ground School
Perhaps just as important as finding the right instructor is making sure you study outside of your one-on-one ground lessons with your instructor. It may seem like a lot of work, but studying on your own will make training easier and faster. Simply taking notes while your instructor teaches a new topic just won’t “fly”. You must go home and review those notes you took, or get together with some friends and have a group study session in order to make that brand new information really stick. In addition, at the end of a lesson most instructors will give a preview into what you’ll be learning about next time. Use the time in between lessons to study up on the next topic. That way, once you meet with your instructor again, you’ll impress him/her with your newfound knowledge (not to mention it will make his/her job easier!) Studying outside of lessons will also decrease the money you spend for your training. The more you study, the less time you’ll have to listen to your instructor re-teach things you’ve already learned, and the less money you’ll have to pay!
#4: Use ALL Available Resources to your Advantage
Throughout your career as a student pilot, you will have countless resources at your fingertips to help you master whatever it is you’re currently studying for. Take advantage of them! All ERAU computers have the entire Gleim FAA Test Prep software to help you study for your FAA Knowledge Test. Over at the flight line, there are 3 Cessna 172 CPTs (Cockpit Procedure Trainers) to help you master those checklists, and multiple simulators that students can check out whenever they feel the need to get some practice without paying for the actual airplane. Not to mention your instructor will always be happy to answer any questions you might have!
#5: Fly as Much as You Can!
Make sure you keep your availability as open as possible so you can fly multiple times a week. The more frequent you fly, the better you’ll retain the skills you learn and the less you’ll have to repeat the lesson you’re on. Besides, who doesn’t want to fly several times a week?
#6: Don’t Forget What First Brought you to Flying
You’re training will get tough at times. You may even feel like giving up (I’ve sure been there). But it’s during these challenging times that you must remind yourself why you decided to become a pilot in the first place. We were all bitten by the flying “bug” at some point, and as your training progresses, it gets pretty easy to forget why you were drawn in to the world of aviation. Think back to that first discovery flight you took, or the first time you saw an airplane up close. John Glenn once said, “I was sold on flying as soon as I had a taste for it.” What sold you on flying? Make sure you never lose sight of it
In today’s video blog, Colton gives you a glimpse into one of the most popular on-campus attractions for Riddle students… The UAS club!
For more information, comment below to get in contact with someone!
Stay tuned for more exciting videos about life at Embry Riddle and its surroundings.
Hi all! The first weekend of October was certainly an eventful one. It was time for OctoberWest once again! Each year, our Prescott campus has a celebration of the anniversary of Embry-Riddle’s founding. We call this “homecoming” week OctoberWest, and this year we celebrated 90 years of Embry-Riddle legacy!
One of the main events of OctoberWest is the Wings Out West Airshow, held on Saturday Oct. 3rd at our own flight line. Each year from 10am to 12pm, the Prescott airport is shut down and reserved for the airshow, a private show for Embry-Riddle students, faculty and their families (just another benefit of being an Eagle!).
This year the airshow was kicked off by a parachute jump executed by Rex Pemberton, a very well-known and young parachutist with hundreds of successful jumps under his belt. As he descended back down to the surface, Melissa Pemberton, a champion aerobatic pilot, circled around him in her Edge 540
aerobatic airplane as the National Anthem played. After both were back on the ground, Patty Wagstaff, veteran member of the U.S. Aerobatic Team and three time U.S. National Aerobatic Champion, performed a breathtaking aerobatic routine that had all eyes turned skyward. Also performing amazing aerobatic routines were award-winning aerobatic and airline pilot Matt Chapman, as well as seasoned aerobatic pilot Bill Stein. Melissa Pemberton also performed and awe-inducing routine that included cutting a ribbon strung above runway 21L while inverted!
As part of the Flight Team, my teammates and I helped out with crowd control throughout the event. Victor and Ian (our Captain and Chief Pilot) also performed in the airshow in one of our 1965 Cessna 150s. They demonstrated two of our flying events: message drop and a power-on landing. Spread out on the Riddle ramp were several general aviation airplanes, helicopters, and even an Embraer ERJ-175 commercial airliner flown in by Skywest Airlines! These aircraft were on display throughout the airshow, each one unique in its own way.
This year’s OctoberWest was without a doubt very entertaining and action-packed. I had a great time, and I can’t wait to see what next year’s OctoberWest/Wings Out West Airshow will bring!
My name is Jeffery Boudoin I’m from New Orleans, LA. I am a senior here at Embry-Riddle studying Aeronautical Science minoring in Global Business. My goal is to fly for British Airways flying multiple incredible routes all over Europe. I have been in love with aviation for as long as I could remember and decided to come to Embry-Riddle to pursue my dream of being a professional pilot, studying in a place where everyone shares the same passion as I do for flight.
For those current students or future students who might be in need of a quick visit with a nurse be sure you check out the Health Center on campus. Just recently I came down with a cold and needed a quick diagnosis to be sure I was taking the proper medication. So I decided to give you the low down on what to do when you get sick away from home.
First off, if you don’t already know, at the beginning of each year you will be asked if you want to opt-out of the school’s medical coverage. If you already have an insurance plan then just go ahead and opt-out otherwise they will charge you for it.
When you happen to get sick/injured be sure you check out the health center. If it’s no big deal and you only need some Dayquil or Advil to get through it they will give you some. You can also schedule appointments with them. If it is a more serious issue they will be able to direct you the next step in taking care of your problem.
It is important to note that while they may direct you to a physical therapist or any other sort of specialized doctor, it is a great idea to check out a professional doctor outside of school. This may seem like an extra step but it can save you money in the long run because going straight to a specialist will cost you more with or without the proper insurance.
From my experience it has made my life much less stressful being able to see the nurse on campus. Because it is quick, easy and doesn’t take much effort or time away from your studies, it is a great tool to utilize. Plus the staff at Embry-RIddle is outstanding, they always do a great job when I’ve had the blues. Be sure to take note that they do more then just prescribe medication: Check out the link below to see they’re wide range of services.
Thanks for reading! Stay tuned.
Being a senior about to graduate, I feel I can look back and reflect on my decision to come here. Furthermore, I hope to share this decision with you to help better make yours.
As I have said in the past, I have always wanted to fly as long as I can remember. In 8th Grade, Google was becoming the big thing, and I searched “Number One Flight School in America.” Among the top search hits was Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. I had never heard of this school, however they kept putting quotes on their website saying, “Most advanced flying fleet”, and “A quarter of all Airline Pilots studied at Embry Riddle.” It was these types of statements that had me interested in the school in general. Like I have told you before, I am from Syracuse, NY and the Daytona Beach Campus is much closer than the Prescott, AZ campus. However, I decided to check out the Prescott Campus for two reasons. First, I have family in the Phoenix area and wanted to be closer to them. Second, because of flying, I looked for the diversity in high altitude operations that Prescott has to offer.
In 10th grade I flew out to Arizona and toured the school. As soon as I stood on the campus I was convinced this was where I wanted to study. The mountains, the campus, the smaller town feeling, I knew this was a place where I could be successful. The tour guides where more than helpful, and my Admissions Counselor Bryan Doughtery (Now Dean of Enrollment Management) also showed me every option I had at Embry Riddle. With that knowledge in hand, I applied in 11th grade and got an early acceptance.
One last choice I made was to attend Accepted Student Preview Day before coming in the fall. Preview Day is essentially a tour on steroids. All the labs, all the professors, all the facilities are open to only the accepted students to give you more of an idea of what being a student here is all about. You can get your student ID card, and make your schedule even. It was exciting to get into the mind set of attending college. This year’s Accepted Student Preview Day is March 28th, 2015 hope you can attend! For me though, after August of 2011 the rest is history and I am very happy with everything that I have accomplished here.
Finally, I will provide you some suggestions to better put your mind at ease about choosing this school. Firstly, ask yourself is this really what you want to do? If yes, then Embry-Riddle will provide the tools to make that dream a reality. Secondly, are you willing to put forth the effort during the good times and the bad? Honestly, it is not all a picnic getting a college degree at any school, and you need to have the vision to get to where you want to go, no matter what. Finally, I suggest you visit multiple schools. If I could change anything about my college making process, it is that I did not visit any school other than Embry-Riddle. That said, at the end of the day, ERAU is the best at what they do and that was what I wanted.
Overall four years later, I am very happy with my decision to come to this school. I will always recommend it to anyone interested in the programs Embry-Riddle has to offer.
I wish the best for you on your journey of making what is the biggest decision of your lift so far. A blog on my Spring Break in the Caribbean to come soon! Take care!
Hi my name is Jessica Embrey. I am a freshman here at Embry-Riddle. I am majoring in Global Securities and Intelligence Studies. I have always been interested in this line of work. I think it would be cool to work as an analyst, in an embassy, doing field work, or in counter intelligence.
My brother had just started at Embry-Riddle so I was learning more about the school and the different majors when one really caught my attention – Global Security and Intelligence Studies. GSIS, it was everything I wanted to do concentrated in a college major. Then I heard about spy camp. It was the perfect way to try out my interests so I signed up!
My experience at spy camp was amazing. I met so many cool people that I am still friends with to this day. I also learned a lot more about what I wanted to do in my future. I experienced what it’s really like, not just what you see on TV (even though TV was a big part of how I decided I want this). The camp was very in formative and a lot of fun! We did so many cool activities like encryption and surveillance. It really helped to show me a different side of gathering intelligence. Attending Spy Camps is something that I recommend to everyone who wants to go into this field of work. No matter what summer camp you go to here at Embry-Riddle you will have fun and learn a lot of things. Whether it is an engineering camp, flight camp, or spy camp you will learn a lot and have a good time while also getting a look into a perspective career field and even getting a look at Embry-riddle to see if you want to come here one day! So take my advice, come to camp!