UND Flyers First In College Competition

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Twenty-nine teams competed last week in the National Collegiate Flying Association's annual Safety and Flight Evaluation Conference, hosted at Ohio State University. More than 400 students and 100 single-engine airplanes converged in Columbus to test their skills with short-field and power-off landings, message drops, E6B calculations and more. First-place honors went to the University of North Dakota. Embry-Riddle Prescott placed second and Western Michigan University finished third. The competition consists of 11 events -- four flying and seven on the ground -- that test a variety of piloting skills, with a special emphasis on safety. To assess their navigation skills, the pilots must plot a course with three to five legs, 70 to 120 nm long. Each contestant submits a flight plan before takeoff. They are then evaluated by comparing the actual flight data with their estimated data. They also must take written tests, identify aircraft from around the world, catch rigged problems during a preflight inspection and more.