Indiana State University Newsroom

Indiana State to host 2010 National Flight Team competition

March 31, 2009

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - The skies over Terre Haute -- and the city's hotel rooms -- will be full come May 2010 as Indiana State University hosts the National Intercollegiate Flying Association (NIFA) national competition.

"We expect to draw 30 teams and upwards of 100 aircraft," said Harry Minniear, Indiana State's aviation department chair. "It's a great thing for our university, the city and Terre Haute International Airport- Hulman Field."

Minnear said organizers expect between 600 and 800 people to stay in Terre Haute during the week-long competition.

"The event will have a big economic impact on the city of Terre Haute," he added.

NIFA national competitions pit schools against each other in five ground events and four flying events.

Ground events are computer accuracy, aircraft preflight inspection, simulator ground trainer, aircraft recognition and simulated comprehensive area navigation (SCAN). Flight events are short field landings, power-off precision landings, navigation and message drop.

Team points are earned by competitors who place in the top 10 in each of the events. A team first- or second-place finish at a regional competition means the team qualifies for a spot in the national competition. Since they will be playing host, the Indiana State flight team will not be flying in the competition.

Students plan and run NIFA competitions. Indiana State is building its student team and will send it to this year's nationals in St. Louis to learn from this year's student competition team.

The May 2010 competition will be the first of two upcoming national events to be hosted by Indiana State's aviation department. Indiana State will host the 2011 University Aviation Association (UAA) fall conference in Indianapolis.

Indiana State's aviation program was named a Program of Regional Distinction as part of the university's Distinctive Programs Initiative in 2007. Funded in part by a gift from the Lilly Endowment, the initiative is intended to strengthen programs with national or regional reputations for quality, and build programs that have the potential to achieve that status.


Contact: Harry Minniear, chair of the ISU aviation department, (812) 237-2641

Writer: Paula Meyer, ISU Communications & Marketing, (812) 237-3783 or