LETU “Sting” Flight Team Wins First Place at Regional Flying Competition
LETU "Sting" Precision Flight Team
Wed, Oct 21 2009
LeTourneau University’s aeronautical science team won first place overall and first place in Ground
Events in the recent National Intercollegiate Flying Association’s 2009 Region IV SAFECON
competition hosted by Delta State University in Cleveland, Miss. The competition was held Oct.
LETU’s “Sting” Precision Flight Team won first place overall, first place in ground events
and fourth place in the flying events, with a total overall school score of 464 points, followed by
Central Texas College with 461 and Delta State University with 427. Other universities
competing included Louisiana Tech University, Hinds Community College, Texas State Technical
College in Waco and University of Louisiana – Monroe.
“Normally we finish much higher in flight events than fourth placed, but because of weather
and scheduling, we didn’t get to compete in the flight navigation events,” said Brad Wooden,
assistant chief flight instructor and faculty adviser. “Navigation events are usually our
highest scoring events, but we are very happy with our first place overall and first place ground
Among the top ten individual performance rankings, LETU’s top two ranking female pilots were
Rachel Ballou in second place and Leanne Haycraft in fourth.
In the Computer Accuracy Ranking, LETU took five of the top six spots with Jered Gebel in
first, Ballou in second, Steve Hederstedt in fourth, Michael Felts in fifth and Caleb Waite in
In the ground trainer event, Hederstedt won second place and Alex Minimum won fourth.
In the aircraft recognition competition, five LETU pilots were among the top 10.
Bennett Hoogewerf won first, Brandon McCann won third, Sam Myers won fifth, Hederstedt won sixth
and Chad Mertz won eighth. Students are given three seconds to view a partial photo of an aircraft
and must select the right answer within 15 seconds.
In the aircraft preflight inspection competition, Mertz and Ballou won first and sixth,
respectively. This competition challenges the young pilots to find discrepancies in preflight
checks that have been placed there by mechanics.
In the message drop competition, the team of Ballou (drop master) and Stephanie Amavisca
(pilot) took third place. Myers (drop master) and Mertz (pilot) won sixth. To compete,
the students drop a 2-oz. container from an altitude of 200 feet into a barrel.
In the power-off landing competition, Andre Ziolkowski finished in the top 10.
In the short field approach and landing event, Ballou finished in the top 10.
In the Simulated Comprehensive Aircraft Navigation (SCAN) event, Ken Misiak took first,
Haycraft took second, Waite took third.
LETU’s top regional finish overall qualifies it to compete nationally May 17-22, 2010, at
Indiana State University. For a detailed list of rankings and pilots see the NIFA Web site at
Complete list of LETU student performance from NIFA Web site shows:
Overall School Ranking
1st Place: LeTourneau University - 464 POINTS
2nd Place: Central Texas College - 461 POINTS
3rd Place: Delta State University -427 POINTS
Overall Ground Events Ranking
1st Place: LeTourneau University - 314 POINTS
2nd Place: Central Texas College - 197 POINTS
3rd Place: Delta State University - 181 POINTS
Overall Flight Events Ranking
1st Place: Central Texas College - 264 POINTS
2nd Place: Delta State University - 246 POINTS
3rd Place: Louisiana Tech University - 169 POINTS
4th Place: LeTourneau University - 150 POINTS
E6B Computer Accuracy Event
1st Place: Jered Gebel
2nd Place: Rachel Ballou
4th Place: Steve Hederstedt
5th Place: Michael Felts
6th Place: Caleb Waite
Aircraft Recognition (ACID) Event
1st Place: Ben Hoogewerf
3rd Place: Brandon McCann
5th Place: Sam Myers
6th Place: Steve Hederstedt
8th Place: Chad Mertz
Simulated Comprehensive Aircraft Navigation (SCAN) Event
1st Place: Ken Misiak
2nd Place: Leanne Haycraft
3rd Place: Caleb Waite
12th Place: Jessie Mellon
13th Place: Stephanie Amavisca
Aircraft Preflight Inspection
1st Place: Chad Mertz
6th Place: Rachel Ballou
Ground Trainer (Simulator) Event
2nd Place: Steve Hederstedt
4th Place: Alex Minium
3rd Place: Stephanie Amavisca [Pilot] - Rachel Ballou [Bomber]
6th Place: Ben Hoogewerf [Pilot] - Sam Myers [Bomber]
14th Place: Brandon McCann [Pilot] - Jessie Mellon [Bomber]
16th Place: Jered Gebel [Pilot] - Michael Felts [Bomber]
Power-On (Short Field) Landings
10th Place: Rachel Ballou
14th Place: Leanne Haycraft
17th Place: Caleb Waite
19th Place: Marc Gravelle
23rd Place: Steve Hederstedt
7th Place: Andre Ziolkowski
14th Place: Alex Minium
16th Place: Andrew Robinson
18th Place: Chad Mertz
25th Place: Blake Eden