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We compete in two NIFA competitions each year, Regionals and Nationals, each containing up to 12 events for team members to compete in.

Flight Events:


The objective is to fly a perfect, square pattern and land on a target line. Once the pilot reduces the power, he or she cannot increase it again. The flight is scored off the precise pattern and the distance  away from the landing line. The further away the more points you get. The person with the least amount of points wins.


Similar to the power on landings, you still have to fly a square pattern but you must reduce power to idle on the downwind leg when abeam the threshold.  You get a 3 second burst of power on the base leg to use if necessary. The approach is made with power off to landing on the target line.


There are two people on the message drop team, the drop master and the pilot. The goal is to drop a container onto a target on the ground from 200 ft. above the ground in a moving aircraft.


The Navigation Event consists of a cross-country flight over a three-to-five leg course between 70 and 120 nautical miles. Each contestant submits a flight plan before takeoff, which includes estimated time en route for each leg, total elapsed time and fuel consumption. The contestant with the lowest penalty points wins.

Competitions: Meet the Team

Ground Events:


Done in a simulator, this event tests the competitor's IFR skills by having them fly a certain pattern. The goal is to maintain altitude, heading, and airspeed with minimal deviation while on a timed course.


Pictures of any part of any aircraft are shown on a screen for three seconds. Competitors then have fifteen seconds to identify the aircraft’s manufacturer, model number, and common name, if any.


Competitors use the E6B, a pilot's analog flight computer, to solve math problems about flight planning. You will be asked about time, speed, distance, wind corrections, fuel requirements, and unit conversions.


SCAN is a written test with questions about a simulated cross-country flight.  You will get a test booklet, chart supplement sheet, and a sectional given to you for the route.  You are required to cross country plan, calculate weight and balance, aircraft performance, answer questions about the safety of the flight, weather interpretations, and fuel consumption.

Competitions: Meet the Team


By flying a given route in a simulator, competitors must demonstrate IFR proficiency and precision. Given to them will be clearances, holds, approach procedures, and deviations to an alternate.


Certified Flight Instructors take part in a teaching competition. The event starts with the CFI preparing a predetermined subject. If weather and time permits, the CFI then teaches the lesson in flight.


An aircraft is "bugged" with at least 30 unairworthy discrepancies. Contestants are given fifteen minutes to preflight the aircraft and find as many of the discrepancies as possible.


This is a simulated IFR flight with a crew of two pilots flying a multi-engine aircraft. They are scored on their ability to communicate, cross-check each other, divide duties, and problem-solve to safely complete the flight while reacting to any unforeseen circumstances that may arise.

Competitions: Meet the Team
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