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Farmingdale State Pilots Take First Place

November 7, 2013


Pilots take first place

Aviation students are headed to nationals this spring

Farmingdale's newly re-created Intercollegiate Flying Team staged a stunning out-of-the-blue victory last month, taking first place in the regional competitions of NIFA (National Intercollegiate Flying Association), having last competed in 1973.

"I am exceptionally proud of these students," said President Hubert Keen.  "Just getting ready for this competition took months of hard work, but they went literally above and beyond, practicing over the summer and on their own time plus helping to raise the funds needed."  Keen continued, "This achievement also highlights the intense dedication and professionalism of our teachers and staff at the Aviation Center."

With the help of Student Government funding, the club was able to compete against six of the top aviation schools in the Northeast Region, including the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.  After four days of grueling 13-hour competition, Farmingdale's fliers ended up placing in the top ten in every event, taking first place in the ground events, second in flight events to West Point, and first place in the competition, overall.

Farmingdale's fliers took home 27 awards, including 15 trophies and 12 medals. Student Michael Cinnante was Farmingdale's top scorer, finishing second in the Top Pilot Award with West Point taking top honors.

Farmingdale State College has the only four-year aviation program in the State University of New York (SUNY) system.  It has the only public aviation program in New York, and is the largest in the Northeast, with almost 250 students in the professional pilot and aviation administration programs.

Farmingdale's NIFA team, which is an extracurricular club, is looking forward to competing in the spring in the NIFA Nationals at Ohio State University, under the leadership of Director of Aviation Operations Lawrence Lopez and Coach Dave Gardinier.