Aviators from Hinds hope to soar their way to victory next week as the college hosts a regional tournament for student pilots and instructors.

The National Intercollegiate Flying Association Region IV competition begins two days of events Thursday, Oct. 15 at John Bell Williams Airport on the Raymond Campus by testing pilots’ skills with precision landing, navigation, flight simulations, and other events.

Other institutions competing are Louisiana Tech University, Central Texas College, Texas State Technical College and LeTourneau University. Entrants must hold a private pilot’s license or greater to fly in the competition, said Stanley Whitfield, the college’s district director of Aviation.

Competition starts at 8 a.m. Thursday with a “power off landings” event, where a line is drawn across the runway and pilots must try to land as close as possible to the line. Simulations and preflight inspection events follow from 3-6 p.m.

From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, pilots compete to drop a package into a barrel placed near the runway. More simulations and inspection events from 3-6 p.m. close out the competition and points pilots earn are tallied. The top two finishers move on to the national competition May 9-14, 2016 in Columbus, Ohio.

Began in 1920, NIFA serves as a forum for collegiate aviators to expand their studies and further their careers with competitive events and other functions. The organization also fosters opportunities to communicate and cooperate with aviation industry leaders.


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