I’ve probably bored you with my endless talk about Gulfstream and Human Factors and living the life of an intern, so what about something else from Riddle?
Besides studying Human Factors at ERAU, I’m also a member of the Eagles Flight Team. The Eagles Flight Team is a part of the National Intercollegiate Flying Association (NIFA). We compete at a Regional and National level against some of the best flight teams in the Nation.
It’s very important that as a student at ERAU, that you find something to be a part of that is outside of your degree program. It gives you a more well-rounded college experience. You meet people from different degrees that you wouldn’t normally meet and it gives you something else to do other than homework. You feel like you can be a part of something bigger than yourself. Plus you never know when you might be able to represent your university on a regional or National level!
On the Flight Team, we compete in both ground and flight events. For our ground events, we have what we call the Big Three. They’re named this because we can send 5 competitors for these eventsi n competition – no other ground events can have 5 people compete! They are Aircraft Recognition (Rec), Simulated Comprehensive Aircraft Navigation (SCAN), and Computer Accuracy (COMPACC). Rec is just as it sounds; we identify aircraft by manufacturer, number, and model name (e.g. Cessna 172 Skyhawk, Douglas DC-3 None, Grumman F-14 Tomcat). We’ve won First Place at Nationals for the past 7 years, so you can say that we’re pretty good at what we do. SCAN is basically like mock-cross country flight planning. You must answer 40 questions regarding a flight plan within 60 minutes. The test includes, performance, weight and balance calculations, weather knowledge, FAR/AIM knowledge, and much more. COMPACC is a math-based event, focusing on answering performance questions by using a CR-3, a flight computer. I myself am a Reccer (as we call ourselves) and a SCANimal. I absolutely love these events; what I learn from flight team in these events has truly helped my overall abilities as a pilot.
We have several other ground events that you can participate after one semester on the team. We have preflight, ground trainer, IFR sim, and CRM/LOFT that you may participate in.
Besides ground events, we also have our flight events! These include Power-On and Power-Off Landings, Navigation, and Message Drop. The goal of Power-On and Power-Off landings is to land as close to the Zero Line as possible. The lower the points, the higher you place. Navigation is about flying the perfect cross-country based upon the flight plan you plan. Message Drop is a really fun event: you drop “message bombs” (they’re just Styrofoam pieces) out of the airplane and try to get them to land on a target. It’s a lot like flour bombing, like pilots used to do back in the old days.
In my three years at Riddle, I’ve served as the Public Relations Officer and the Captain of the team. I absolutely love being with this team, practicing and competing.
I’ll post more about how you get on the team and what that entails in a later post! Just wanted to spark your interest of the amazing things you can do as an ERAU student.
Until next time….. Blue Skies!