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CAU Flight Team Earns Coveted Invite to National Flight Competition, Seeks Community Support to Soar to Victory

California Aeronautical University’s Flight Team has earned an invitation to participate in a national intercollegiate flight competition, where they’ll compete against the top flight teams representing colleges, universities, and academies from around the country.

Hosted by the National Intercollegiate Flying Association (NIFA), SAFECON is an annual competition consisting of flight and ground challenges designed to promote safety and professionalism among collegiate aviators. The National SAFECON will take place in Wisconsin from May 13-18, 2024.

Developing Safer Pilots

On top of testing a pilot’s aeronautical knowledge, the competition offers student aviators the opportunity to put skills learned in the classroom to use in real-world scenarios.

Traveling across the country to nationals in their single-engine aircraft allows the team to make critical planning decisions to avoid hazardous weather, stay within fuel limitations, and avoid fatigue.

Competing against other flight universities also fosters relationships among students who share the unique joys and challenges of flight training.

“The people and relationships you develop are the most enjoyable parts about the whole experience,” says Brycen Yamaguchi, Captain of the CAU Flight Team. “You not only develop close bonds with your team, but you get to build relationships with other flight teams from different schools who are going through similar phases of flight training. These relationships we develop are critical, especially since these might be who we share the flight deck with one day.”

This invaluable experience ultimately contributes to the development of safer pilots for our nation’s skies.

Help the Team Go to Nationals

As a student-run organization, the University Flight Team is asking its local community for help to send them to nationals. The team needs to raise $35,000 to cover travel expenses, registration fees, and other competition costs.

“Securing a spot to participate in the national SAFECON competition is a privilege which few get to say they’ve experienced,” says Brycen. “I joined the team 2 ½ years ago when it seemed like it was beginning to die out. Now it’s something that has achieved a lot for its age and is something I can be proud of.”

The team placed 20th at SAFECON 2022 and 15th at SAFECON 2023. They aspire to further enhance their performance as they compete with universities that boast a longer history of participation.

Please consider a donation to support the Flight Team today.

To donate directly to the University as a non-tax-deductible contribution, contact Amanda Harmon at (661) 615-5915. Sponsorship opportunities are also available.

If you’re seeking to make a tax-deductible donation, the Aero Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit organization that offers support to the University Flight Team. Aero Foundation, Inc. is a public charity under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 501(c)(3). Tax id 46-1362078.

More information can be found at

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