About 20 LeTourneau University students will
compete in national competition at the annual Safety and Flight Evaluation Conference (SAFECON)
hosted by the National Intercollegiate Flying Association (NIFA) from Saturday, May 16, to Sunday,
Parks College of St. Louis University in Choakia,
NIFA was formed for the purposes of developing and advancing aviation education; to promote,
encourage and foster safety in aviation; to promote and foster communications and cooperation among
aviation students, educators, educational institutions and the aviation industry; and to provide an
arena for collegiate aviation competition.
At SAFECON, students are tested on flying and navigation skills, as well as aircraft and
regulations knowledge. Some will fly accurate short-field landings, while others will answer
difficult regulations questions. Seconds count as navigation routes are planned and flown. Flying
events include short-field landing, power-off landing, navigation, message drop, instrument flight
rules, simulated flight, and crew resource management/line-oriented flight training. Ground events
include computer accuracy, ground trainer, aircraft preflight inspection, aircraft recognition,
simulated comprehensive aircraft navigation, and electronic flight computer.
SAFECON gives students a chance to demonstrate
LeTourneau University's excellent aeronautical science program and represent the Christian faith
and LeTourneau University to aviation professionals across the nation by competing with other
The team is led by team captain, Chris Barnes,
and Coach, Roger Braun. The ground events team consists of Rachel Ballou, Caleb Waite, Jered Gebel,
Steve Hederstedt, Michael Felts, Brandon McCann, Ben Hoogewerf, Sam Myers, Andrew Robinson, Chad
Mertz, Leanne Haycraft, Daniel Grollimund, Ken Misiak, Jessie Mellon, Alex Minium, and Chris
Barnes. The Flying events team will consist of Chris Barnes, Leanne Haycraft, Rachel Ballou, Andrew
Robinson, Marc Gravelle, Daniel Grollimund, Chad Mertz, Alex Minium, Andre Ziolkowski, Steve
Hederstedt, Caleb Waite, Jered Gebel, Brandon McCann, Ken Misiak, Michael Felts, Ben Hoogewerf,
Jessie Mellon, and Sam Myers.
LeTourneau University is an
interdenominational Christ-centered university of nearly 3,700 students with academic majors in the
aeronautical sciences, business, education, engineering, the liberal arts and sciences.
LeTourneau University also offers undergraduate programs in business, education and psychology and
graduate programs in business and education online and at education centers in Austin, Bedford,
Dallas, Houston and Tyler. Claiming every workplace in every nation as its mission field,
LeTourneau University graduates are professionals of ingenuity and Christ-like character who see
work as a holy calling with eternal impact.
LETU’s School of Aeronautical Science strives to provide the highest quality instruction with top
quality equipment. Solid, hands-on degree concentrations, include flight science, mission aviation,
military aviation, air traffic control, mechanical systems and professional flight. LETU
teaches the skills and knowledge students need to be successful in the aviation industry.
Instructors with backgrounds in military, corporate and mission aviation careers share their wealth
of practical information with the students.