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The National Intercollegiate Flying Association (NIFA) exists as a forum for collegiate aviators to expand their studies and further their careers by participating in competitive and non-competitive events, networking with industry and contemporaries, and applying themselves to go above-and-beyond their ordinary curriculum.

To learn more about NIFA visit their website at


SCAN (Simulated Comprehensive Air Navigation)

A Written Exam with problems that reference a simulated cross country flight over a given route. Included in the flight planning are questions on weight and balance, aircraft performance, Federal Aviation Regulations, aeronautical charts, weather interpretation, and fuel consumption.

E6B Computer Accuracy

Competitors work against the clock to solve mathematical flight planning computations using a manually operated flight computer (E6-B or CR-3). The exam includes problems on time, speed, distance, wind corrections, fuel requirements, and conversion factors.

ACID (Aircraft Identification)

Photos of aircraft are shown on a screen for three (3) seconds each. Competitors have fifteen (15) seconds to identify each aircraft's manufacturer, model number, and common name, if any.

Aircraft Pre-Flight

An aircraft is "bugged" with at least thirty (30) un-airworthy discrepancies. Contestants are given fifteen (15) minutes to find as many as possible. 

Short field Landings

The objective of the short field landing event is to test the pilots skill at maneuvering and manipulating the aircraft. After taking off and flying a normal traffic pattern, the objective is to land on a target line. The distance in feet from where the wheels initially touch the runway from the target line is the pilots score. The lowest cumulative score from the two landings plus technique penalty points wins.

Power-Off Landing

Similar to the short field event, the power must be reduced and remain at idle on the downwind leg, and land at the target line.

NAV (Air Navigation)

This event consists of a cross country flight over a three to five leg course between seventy (70) to one hundred (100) nautical miles in overall length. Each contestant will submit a flight plan before take-off, which estimates time en route, each leg, total elapsed time, and fuel consumption. The contestant with the fewest penalty points wins.

Message Drop

The object of this event is to hit a target on the ground with a message container dropped from an aircraft at two hundred (200) feet. A team effort by both the pilot and drop master is necessary to maneuver the aircraft so the container will hit the target. The contestants (Pilot and Drop Master) with the lowest total distance from the two targets are the winners.

Ground Trainer (Simulator)

This event is designed to test the competency and skill of the contestant, and their ability to fly in a flight training device. The contestant will fly a predetermined pattern that can include changes in heading, airspeed, and altitude and points will be assigned based on any deviations at specific points in the pattern. The contestant with the fewest deviations will be the winner.


From the time the team leaves their home school to travel to the competition via vehicles and aircraft to the time the team returns, they will be judged on behavior, professionalism and most of all safety. The safety award is the most sought after award and the most coveted. This award is based on many factors including flight crew operations, ground crew operations, any major discrepancies and disqualifications received by any team member is grounds for ineligibility of the award.