News Releases 2008

LETU Flight Team Wins First Place in Regional NIFA SAFECON Competition

Tue, Oct 28 2008

LeTourneau University’s aeronautical science team won first place overall in the recent National Intercollegiate Flying Association’s 2008 Region IV SAFECON competition hosted by the university. The first place finish qualified LETU pilots to compete in the national NIFA competition May 17-23, 2009 at Parks College of St. Louis University in Cahokia, Ill.   
LETU’s “Sting” Precision Flight Team won first place in ground events and second place in the flying events, with a total overall school score of 650 points, followed by Central Texas College with 517, Hinds Community College with 463, Delta State University with 462, University of Louisiana—Monroe with 247 and Texas State Technical College in Waco with 82 points. 
“We are proud of our team’s accomplishments, especially since we are in a very competitive region,” said Brad Wooden, team coach, assistant chief flight instructor and faculty adviser. “Our students worked incredibly hard, and this exceptional showing reflects their hard work.”  
Three LETU pilots were among the top 10 in the region with Daniel Grollimund in fifth place, Jeffrey Roesner in eighth place and Steven Hederstedt in tenth.
The top two female pilots were LETU’s Rachel Ballou and Leanne Haycraft, ranked first and second, respectively.
In the Simulated Comprehensive Aircraft Navigation (SCAN) competition, LETU took four of the top spots with Jeffrey Roesner, Ken Misiak, Leanne Haycraft and Daniel Grollimund taking first, second, third, and fourth, respectively. Caleb Waite took seventh.
In the aircraft recognition competition, five LETU pilots were among the top 10. Jeffrey Roesner won first, Bennett Hoogewerf won third, Chad Mertz won fifth, Sam Myers won sixth and Brandon McCann won tenth. Students are given three seconds to view a partial photo of an aircraft and must select the right answer within 15 seconds.
In the navigation competition, LETU teams took three of the four top spots. The team of Jeffrey Roesner (pilot) and Andre Ziolkowski (observer) won first place. The team of Daniel Grollimund (pilot) and Caleb Waite (observer) won third. The team of Steven Hederstedt (pilot) and Blake Eden (observer) won fourth. The teams did cross-country navigation, timing checkpoints to the second and fuel to the tenth of a gallon.
In the aircraft preflight inspection competition, Chad Mertz and Rachel Ballou won first and second, respectively. This competition challenges the young pilots to find discrepancies in preflight checks that have been placed there by mechanics.
In computer accuracy, using a slide rule to make computations, LETU students won four of the top 10 spots with Jeffrey Roesner in first, Jered Gebel in second, Steven Hederstedt in fourth and Rachel Ballou in fifth.
In the message drop competition, the team of Sam Myers (drop master) and Chad Mertz (pilot) won second place. Bennett Hoogewerf (drop master) and Brandon McCann (pilot) won seventh. To compete, the students drop a 2-oz. container from an altitude of 200 feet into a barrel.
In the ground trainer event, Alex Minium won fourth place and Steven Hederstedt won seventh.
In the power-off landing competition, Alex Minium, Daniel Grollimund, Blake Eden finished in the top 10.
In the short field landing event, Marc Gravelle finished in the top 10.
For a detailed list of rankings and pilots see the NIFA Web site at http://www.nifa.us/2008_REGION_4_RESULTS.html To see local television coverage of the competition, see http://www.letu.edu/opencms/opencms/_Other-Resources/Media_Room/video.html .