Ryan Gomer - NIFA Competitor

2021 NIFA - SAFECON Region I Competition

The UVU Flight Team participated in the 2021 NIFA Region I SAFECON competition on October 18-21, after nearly a 10 year absence. Coached by Professor Cory Chamberlain, UVU gathered with five other collegiate flight teams in our assigned region, including the U.S. Air Force Academy, Metropolitan State University of Denver, Colorado Northwestern Community College, Rocky Mountain College, and Utah State University at the Carbon County-Price Regional Airport in Price, Utah. The event had approximately 90 individual competitors. We reached out to UVU Flight Team member Ryan Gomer who described his experience and success:

 

What is NIFA SAFECON? nifa spot landing

"NIFA stands for National Intercollegiate Flying Association. NIFA is a non-profit organization that enables college students to compete at the Safety and Flight Evaluation Conference, known as SAFECON. It brings together some of the best pilots from many colleges across the nation to compete. At our Region's SAFECON event there were approximately 90 pilots that competed in various events. At SAFECON there are several events including written tests, flying events, simulator precision, and a few others."

How did you get involved with the UVU NIFA Team/Club?

"UVU hasn’t participated in a SAFECON event in almost 10 years. The Aviation Department decided we should start participating again this year. For this year the six of us that competed were invited to join the team."

 

ryan taxiing Describe your experience at the competition.

"It was definitely intimidating at first because you see all of the other colleges and especially seeing The Air Force Academy in their uniforms and you are thinking how in the world could I beat a military-trained pilot. But all in all, it was a really fun time being able to compete and converse with all of the other pilots from other colleges. It was actually pretty funny when we first got there because when we flew into the event all of the other colleges pilots surrounded the plane talking about how cool the paint job is."

 

How is the “Top Pilot” designation determined at the competition? How did you do? Any awards?

"The 'Top Pilot' is determined by the pilot who scores the most points out of all of the events. I ended up placing second as the 'Top Pilot'. I received medals for the Power-Off 180 landings and also the Simulated Comprehensive Aircraft Navigation written test. "

 

Do you feel like being a part of the NIFA Team has made you a better pilot? How?ryan gomer

"I think participating on the NIFA Team has made me a better pilot. It has shown me that being a good pilot isn’t just being good at flying, but also includes many other things that are done on the ground like knowing how to complete a thorough and accurate Navigation Log. I think also it is helpful to surround yourself with other good pilots and you really learn a lot from others."

 

What would you say to other students who might be interested in NIFA?

If you are interested in NIFA, UVU is starting a class, AVSC 475R, where you prepare for the SAFECON event that takes place in the fall. To prepare for the event the class will be given tests that were used in previous SAFECONs and whoever scores the best on the tests and flights will be chosen to compete in the fall. In order to compete in the flying events, you must possess at least a Private Pilot Certificate. The "ground" events do not require a pilot certificate.

flight team 2021

UVU Flight Team 2021