Three student members of the University of Oklahoma National Intercollegiate Flying Association (NIFA) flight team captured top honors at this year’s annual Okie Derby Air Proficiency event held Saturday, August 21 at Wiley Post Airport in Oklahoma City.
The OU team captured Best Collegiate Team award overall. The flight team of aviation juniors Tom Bishop and Andrew Steinle led the OU effort. Anna Tenbrook, competed on one of the OU flight teams along with department flight instructor, Brian Parrish. Additionally, Anna Tenbrook won the “best new participant award”. Both teams estimated their approximate fuel consumption for the 2220-milecourse which circled the greater Oklahoma City metro. The course took a little more than two hours to fly and when their fuel tanks were refueled, OU’s teams came within 0.1 and 0.4 gallons of their fuel estimates which placed them in the top percentiles of the 22 flight teams participating.
Coaches for this year’s squad were Brian Parrish and Tim Sheetz, both OU professional pilot aviation major graduates. Tim Sheetz has recently been hired by American Eagle Airlines.
The OU students participate in the one-day Okie Derby to help them sharpen their air navigation skills as they compete against other teams from across the region. The students also used the event as a practice opportunity as they prepare for their upcoming annual NIFA regionals, which will be held in October. This year, the NIFA regionals will be held at Kansas State in October. Nine other university flight teams will compete that week for the regional championship honors.
The Department of Aviation under the College of Continuing Education offers a bachelor of science degree in four aviation concentrations including professional pilot, air traffic management (for future FAA air traffic controllers) and aviation management with a non flying or flying track. Undergraduate OU students also have the option to take intro to aviation as an elective (non flying) or they can take courses to obtain their FAA private pilot’s license. Information can be found at aviation.ou.edu or by calling (405) 325-7231.
Pictured: Members of the Department of Aviation's Flying Sooners National Intercollegiate Flying Association (NIFA) Flight Team in front of OU Piper Warrior training aircraft "Crimson 7" at Wiley Post Airport. L to R: Brian Parrish, OU Flight Instructor; OU Aviation students: Andrew Steinle; Tom Bishop, Anna Tenbrook