U of M, Crookston Team Soars at National Intercollegiate Flying Association's Region 5 Flight Competition

The University of Minnesota, Crookston co-hosted the National Intercollegiate Flying NIFA_airplane.jpgAssociation's Region 5 Regional Flying contest at Crookston Municipal Airport during the week of October 11, 2010.  For the first time in 20 years, the U of M, Crookston fielded a team in the competition. Team members included Senior Andrew Knapton, Rockford, Minn.; Junior Nongye Lo, St. Paul., Minn.; and Senior Anthony Young, St. Cloud, Minn.

The competition consisted of nine separate events, including both flying and ground-based competitions.  Contestants may compete in one or all of the contests.  Most of the competitors in this year's event had competed in past events, including several who have competed in the national championships.   Most of the teams practice all year for this competition.

The team members from the U of M, Crookston acquitted themselves superbly, especially considering a relatively short training period and the fact that none of them had past experience with these particular contests. Lo finished 6th overall out of 46 competitors, while Knapton finished 27th and Young finished 28th overall.   

For Mike Vivion, chief pilot on the Crookston campus, the results were a source of pride. "Our Flying Team performed extremely well, and we congratulate them and wish them good luck in next year's event, which will be held in St. Cloud, Minn.," Vivion says.  "All three of the team members are enthusiastic about participating in next year's regional competition, and with more time to practice and one competition under their belt, they should be even more of a threat to the top contenders.

"Most teams brought 10 or more competitors, so UMC is looking to grow its flying team prior to next year's event.  With Andrew, Nongye and Anthony, we've got a great core for a successful team."

To learn more about the opportunities in aviation on the Crookston campus, visit www.umcrookston.edu/academics or contact Vivion at 218-281-8114.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 29 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and more than 40 concentrations, including several online degrees, in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of about 1,400 undergraduates from more than 25 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.

In the photo: Judges observe during the spot landing competition.

Contact: Mike Vivion, chief pilot, 218-281-8114 (mvivion@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)