Department of Flight Science
Mr. Lauren G. Bitikofer, Chair
Flight training at LeTourneau University is designed to build a solid foundation of skills necessary for advancing in a professional aviation career. Students begin with the Private Pilot certificate and progress through the Commercial Pilot certificate for multi-engine and single engine aircraft with instrument rating. Many students also earn the Flight Instructor certificate for single and multi-engine aircraft. Flight training is conducted in a variety of aircraft selected to maximize student learning. Students gain skill in single engine, multi-engine, and tailwheel aircraft as well as a variety of flight training devices (simulators). All aircraft except those used for tailwheel training are equipped for instrument flight, most with state of the art GPS navigation equipment. All aeronautical science students take AERF 1103 Flight Science I, which is the private pilot ground school. Students in a flight concentration also take the AERF 1101 Flight Science I Laboratory and the flight training course, AERF 1102 Primary Flight. Flight students who take AERF 1101 and AERF 1103 in the spring semester should consider enrolling in AERF 1102 during the first summer session to complete the Private Pilot certificate. (Note: See "Summer Flight" section below.)
LeTourneau has a long heritage of preparing students for service as missionary pilots and technicians. Mission aviation organizations visit the campus regularly, meeting with students and providing input into the flight training program. Students interested in flying with a missionary organization should enroll in the Flight Science concentration. This concentration with the AERF 3522 Commercial Flight III - Mission Emphasis course provides a strong foundation of flight training and the pilot certificates and ratings needed to serve with mission aviation organizations. Because most mission aviation organizations also require pilots to hold the Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) mechanic certificates, this program includes that training as well. Students interested in serving in mission aviation in a non-flying capacity should consult the Aircraft Systems Department section for additional information.
Students may want to consider enrolling in flight courses during the summer. Flight training is intense, time consuming, and sometimes complicated by an otherwise busy university/work schedule. Attending flight courses during the summer relieves the workload during the regular semester and can shorten the time required to obtain flight certificates and ratings. (Note: Enrollment is limited and students are enrolled on a first come, first served basis. Contact the Chairman of Flight Science to get on the summer flight training list early in the academic year in which you wish to enroll in summer flight training.
Cost of Flight Training
Flight fees are estimated for each course. The actual cost for flight training will vary from student to student based on aptitude, planning, and discipline. Flight charges are based on the amount of dual instruction time and aircraft time the student needs to achieve the required proficiencies. Dual instruction is charged on an hourly basis and includes preflight briefing, flight instruction, and post-flight debriefing time as well as some ground instruction time in preparation for specific flight checks. Aircraft charges are based on actual aircraft time and the type of aircraft flown. Flight fees for each flight course must be pre-paid and are held in the student's account. Any money not used for flight training is released after the course is completed.
Transfer of Pilot Certificates, Ratings, Training
Students who hold a pilot certificate prior to enrolling at LeTourneau are required to take AERF 1201, Flight Policies and Standardization, as their first semester of flight training. Credit for pilot certificates and ratings are contingent on the following policies.
Students who hold a Private Pilot certificate or current FAA private pilot written test report may test out of AERF 1103 Flight Science I by passing a written exam over the FAA private pilot knowledge requirements with a minimum score of 80%. This exam is given once each fall and spring semester prior to registration. Students who do not achieve an 80% minimum on this exam will be required to take AERF 1103. Students may only attempt the exam one time and must make arrangements with the Flight Science department to take the exam prior to registration for classes. See "Credit by Examination" in the Academic Policies section of this catalog for additional information.
A student who holds a Private pilot certificate obtained without college credit will be allowed to bypass AERF 1101 Flight Science I Laboratory and AERF 1102 Primary Flight. If the Private pilot certificate was obtained with college credit, that credit will be transferred. Note: The credit hours from bypassed courses do not count toward the minimum credit hour requirement for the degree.
A student who has logged flight training toward a certificate or rating, but has not completed that certificate or rating before beginning flight training at LeTourneau, will be required to enroll in the appropriate course and complete the entire flight training syllabus for that certificate or rating.
Students who hold pilot certificates and ratings beyond the Private Pilot certificate obtained without college credit will be evaluated on an individual basis. To ensure that the graduate is a product of our program they will be required to take a minimum of 12 credit hours of the following courses: Any AERF course, AERO 2423, or AERO 4133 and complete at least one flight course leading to an additional certificate or rating. In addition, the student must demonstrate proficiency for each certificate and rating held before being permitted to bypass the associated certificate courses. Proficiency testing includes written and flight tests for Private, Instrument, and Commercial pilot knowledge and skill as applicable. Written exams must be passed with a minimum score of 80% or the associated course must be taken. Flight courses that are bypassed based on previous certificates and ratings obtained without college credit are not converted to college credit.
Students with pilot certificates obtained with college credit must demonstrate proficiency for each certificate and associated rating before credits will be accepted. Aviation and related courses from other colleges and universities do not automatically transfer to LeTourneau. The Flight Science Department reviews all aviation transfer courses, flight and/or non-flight, for transferability. It is the responsibility of the student to initiate a review process of transfer courses.
Our goal is to direct each student through a professional pilot training program designed to maximize career potential. To aid in accomplishing this goal, once a student has enrolled at LeTourneau University all subsequent flight training must be completed in residence at LeTourneau regardless of major. Students who receive flight training outside of the university's program toward a certificate or rating that is required for their major/minor will be withdrawn from that major/minor. This policy does not preclude rental of aircraft for personal transportation and recreational purposes.
Flight students not holding a pilot certificate must have a Student Pilot Certificate issued by a designated FAA Medical Examiner prior to registering for a flight-training course. This certificate is issued by a medical doctor who is an FAA Medical Examiner. There are three levels of medical certificates -- Class III, Class II, and Class I. Students are advised to obtain a Class II certificate if they are planning to pursue a career in professional flight. Students are encouraged to obtain their medical certificates long before they plan to begin flight training. This will ensure that if any medical issue should arise, it can be addressed before actually enrolling in the flight curriculum.
Flight students are expected to remain in good standing with the university behaviorally (see Community Life Expectations in the Student Life chapter). A student placed on Disciplinary Probation or Disciplinary Warning for any cause may be reviewed for warning, probation, or suspension from the flight program.
All flight students are required to uphold all federal and state aviation guidelines. In case of an accident or incident, the student may be required to undergo supervised drug testing at the expense of the University. Refusal to take this test may be grounds for disciplinary action as outlined in the above paragraph.
The Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Science is earned by completing the courses in the basic core and one of the concentrations. The flight science concentration can be completed in eight regular semesters and one summer session. The professional flight concentration can be completed in eight regular semesters.
The Flight Science Concentration combines flight training with the aircraft systems science curriculum leading to a commercial multi-engine land certificate with instrument rating as well as the A&P mechanic certificate. This is a highly technical degree with a strong emphasis in general aviation operations including missionary and corporate aviation. The Flight Instructor certificate is recommended.
The Professional Flight Concentration is designed for the student preparing for a career as a professional airline or corporate pilot. This concentration leads to certification as a commercial pilot multi-engine and single engine with instrument ratings with a strong emphasis on large commercial aircraft operations. The Flight Instructor certificate is highly recommended.
A student may obtain flight training by declaring a flight minor added to any other major at LeTourneau. The flight minor includes courses leading to certification as commercial pilot multi-engine and single engine with instrument rating. Flight instructor certificates and ratings may also be added to this minor. Because flight minor students are not required to take Aircraft Systems courses, additional ground instruction is typically required when preparing for FAA knowledge tests and check rides.