My name is Zach Osterloo, and I graduated from LeTourneau University in 2006. I am currently serving my first term on the field and am in the process of learning the local language. We are new to this line of work, and I am really looking forward to my first flight. I am a pilot/mechanic serving in Southeast Asia with a well-known humanitarian aviation support organization. LeTourneau has a great relationship with our organization and has sent students to Waxhaw to volunteer with us every year for many years now.
In 1999, a pilot visited our church and spoke about service aviation. I was really searching for direction in my life at the time. After hearing him speak, I felt as though I should look into this line of work. I applied to Moody to study aviation and was not accepted. I took some online classes and tried again a year later. I also applied to LeTourneau, and I was accept to both. For various reasons I choose LeTourneau, and I am very glad I did. As it turned out, Moody’s program changed, and I would have been one of the first students to be affected by that change. We moved to Texas to begin school in 2002.
I studied hard at LeTourneau to keep my grades up. That helped me get more scholarships and federal aid. We also asked some of our friends from our church back home in Illinois to give us monthly gifts. We told them that we couldn’t go to the field with a lot of debt or without an education. The Lord provided and we were able to get through school with little debt. I also worked part time. I completed the flight science concentration and received my A&P and Commercial Pilot’s License. I also pursued my instructor ratings and then worked for LeTourneau as a flight instructor. After being accepted to work with Wycliffe, we left LeTourneau to prepare for overseas service. During our preparation, I was evaluated by the aviation department in our organization to determine my competence. I also participated in a four-month flight/maintenance training program that our organization requires.
I could not have asked for a better education than LeTourneau, but what really made a difference was the way they prepared me for my work. I learned to fly with professionalism and maturity. I received the technical training that my organization was looking for, both in flying and in maintenance. To be specific, LeTourneau’s attention to safety and emphasis on understanding rather than mere knowledge truly benefited me. Furthermore, working as a flight instructor gave me a deeper understanding of all that I had learned. During the orientation with my organization, I relied upon the knowledge and experience I gained at LeTourneau. It was obvious that LeTourneau had prepared me well for the task set before me.