California Aeronautical University (CAU) hosted the National Intercollegiate Flying Association (NIFA) SAFECON Region II Competition last week, where 100 students from six collegiate flight teams put their knowledge and skills to the test. Participating aviators competed in action-packed events over four days to test each pilot’s ability and competency to maneuver and manipulate the aircraft, fly under instrument flight rules (IFR), assess flight computer accuracy, and a variety of other events.
CAU Flight Team Earns Bid to Nationals
As a first-time host, CAU’s Flight Team proudly earned second place overall and won the coveted Red Baron Team Sportsmanship Award, an award voted on by the other teams and judges. CAU also brought home victory as the runner-up in the Flight Events Championship. Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics students Camille and Nathan earned first place in the Instrument Simulated Flight and Short Field Landing events, respectively. All victors received their awards during an awards banquet on the last day of the competition. Because of their top scores, CAU’s Flight Team earned a bid to the national competition held in Columbus, Ohio, in May 2022.
“We’re excited to have hosted this year’s SAFECON Region II competition,” says CAU President Matthew Johnston. “Our flight team has a lot of fun preparing for these competitions with other students who share their passion for aviation. We’re proud of their hard work as they applied what they’ve learned in class to real-world scenarios in this competition, and we’re looking forward to the national competition!”
SAFECON (Safety and Flight Evaluation Conference) is an annual competition consisting of flight and ground challenges designed to promote safety and professionalism among collegiate aviators. Region II encompasses flight teams from California, Nevada, Arizona, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and Hawaii. Event judges participated from the local area, including airline pilots, local pilots, and members of the Bakersfield 99s. Since the event had been canceled last year due to COVID concerns, this year’s competition was much anticipated for all those involved.
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Mr. Matthew A. Johnston has over 23 years of experience serving various roles in education and is currently serving as the President of California Aeronautical University. He maintains memberships and is a supporting participant with several aviation promoting and advocacy associations including University Aviation Association (UAA), Regional Airline Association (RAA), AOPA, NBAA, and EAA with the Young Eagles program. He is proud of his collaboration with airlines, aviation businesses and individual aviation professionals who are working with him to develop California Aeronautical University as a leader in educating aviation professionals.