Minnesota State Mankato Aviation Flight Team Hosts Regional Competition

Nine Midwest universities, approximately 150 students, coaches to participate

October 18, 2021 | News Story

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Mankato, Minn. –
The Minnesota State University, Mankato College of Education’s aviation flight team will host the annual National Intercollegiate Flying Association (NIFA) Region VI competition Tuesday through Saturday on campus and at the Mankato Regional Airport.

The competition includes nine universities from across the Midwest and approximately 150 students and coaches. Minnesota State Mankato’s aviation flight team includes 39 student members and three coaches. Eighteen of Minnesota State Mankato's 39 team members are expected to compete in the regional competition. Catherine Plasschaert, a faculty member at Minnesota State Mankato and an alumna of its aviation program, serves as the advisor and coach for the University’s flight team.

NOTE TO EDITORS: The competition is not set up as a public spectator event, but media may arrange to cover the event by contacting Catherine Plasschaert at 507-469-4431.

Competition includes both ground and flight events. Ground competition includes events such as aircraft recognition, computer accuracy, simulated comprehensive aircraft navigation (SCAN) and preflight inspection event. Flight competition includes events such as power off landing, short-field landing, message drop and navigation event. 

National Intercollegiate Flying Association competition serves as an opportunity for collegiate aviators to expand their studies and further their careers by participating in competitive ground and flight events. Students who place in the regional competition will move on to national competition held in the spring.

In addition to the competition, aviation sponsors will be hosting booths at the Mankato Regional Airport—in hopes of connecting with and recruiting aviation students. The event sponsors include Sun Country Airlines, Envoy Air, Republic Airlines, Endeavor Air, North Star Aviation and others. All students are encouraged to come to the airport and visit with these companies to learn more about potential future employers.

This competition marks the 101st anniversary for NIFA, which originated just after World War I as young aviators returned from war to their collegiate studies. Learn more about the history of NIFA here. Learn more about NIFA and future competitions here.

Minnesota State Mankato’s aviation program is part of the University’s College of Education.

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 14,546 students, is part of the Minnesota State system, which includes 30 colleges and seven universities.

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