To be on the Flight Team you must be enrolled in MSU Denver's Aviation program, and you must take the Flight Team course. You must be available for the practices which are held usually on weekends. See the by-laws for additional rules of qualification. If you are chosen to compete you must be available for the regional and national competitions. This means a commitment to extra time for practice/competition as well as extra expense for aircraft rental and travel to/from practice or competitions. If you plan to compete, please consider how you will budget time and money for these expenses. Some students share the cost of one aircraft to reduce expense. There are other creative options available; see the team sponsor or team trainer for more ideas.
Team members are chosen for competition based on their participation in class/practice and how well the student does in an event (or events). See the by-laws for additional selection criteria. Even if you are not selected for competition, you benefit from participating on the team. The practices and classroom activities will prove invaluable to you as you pursue a career in professional piloting. So even if you are unsure of your ability to compete or you do not have your Pilot Certificate yet (but are working toward it), consider joining.
Regional competitions are held to rank the competing teams with the lower ranked teams being eliminated from the national competition. Teams compete annually in national competitions by invitation from the National Intercollegiate Flying Associate (NIFA) which is the governing body of the competition. The national competition is known as a SAFECON, (or Safety and Flight Evaluation Conference). The National SAFECON is typically held in May. Competitors are responsible for paying for their transportation and aircraft time during the competition. The location is hosted by a different member school each year and can be local or fairly distant, (this is a consideration for cost of transportation since many contestants plan cross-country flights in aircraft they are familiar with instead of renting from a flight club near a host airport). For more information about the events in competition click the "events" links on this website, or click here.
For more information about NIFA and a list of the schools that MSU Denver's Flight Team competes with regionally, click the gold NIFA wings above and click the link to the NIFA website. A comprehensive list of all schools which are NIFA members can be found on the NIFA website.
Award winners at SAFECON competition are nationally recognized for their achievements throughout the aviation industry, which is a good start on your resume.
- Opportunity to sharpen many of your pilot skills
- Opportunity for you to make a name for yourself nationally
- Scholarships at the National Competition
- Scholarship opportunities within the department
- Cash awards for top three places in some competitions
- Camaraderie with fellow students at MSU Denver as well as across the Nation
- Training awards from the airlines on their aircraft
- Opportunity for you to make a name for yourself in the department