The flight team at Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus is advancing to nationals in the spring after placing second in its region and earning several individual honors during an annual collegiate aviation competition recently.
Along with six other schools, the Kansas State Polytechnic Flight Team attended Region VI of the National Intercollegiate Flying Association Safety and Flight Evaluation Conference, also known as NIFA SAFECON. Conducted Oct. 16-19 at the Council Bluffs Municipal Airport in Council Bluffs, Iowa, the competition consisted of both ground and air events, with participants having the opportunity to win individual awards and receive team placings — which mean a guaranteed spot at nationals for the top three teams.
With a second-place overall finish, the Kansas State Polytechnic Flight Team will compete nationally in May 2020. Additionally, Kansas State Polytechnic scored more than 20 top 10 individual placings, and team captain Marc Hinnen earned the coveted Top Pilot award.
In total, 13 team members (all majoring in professional pilot) competed for Kansas State Polytechnic at regionals and more than half of them scored in the top 10 in various events. Among those team members was senior Logan Klein of Hesston.
Ten ground and flight events make up NIFA SAFECON. They range from participants determining different types of aircraft from ambiguous photos to attempting to hit a ground target from the air to landing a plane as close as possible to a specific line painted on the runway. Other colleges competing at NIFA SAFECON's Region VI were University of North Dakota, University of Nebraska Omaha, University of Central Missouri, St. Louis University-Parks College, University of Dubuque and Minnesota State University, Mankato.