Flight Team Places 5th In Nation,
Breaks School Record


LeTourneau University's "Sting" Precision Flight Team placed 5th overall in the nation-the highest overall ranking in LETU program history-at the 2018 National Intercollegiate Flight Association SAFECON flight competition, hosted by Indiana State University, in Terre Haute, Indiana, recently.

Contributing to the 5th place 2018 overall score, LETU was ranked 4th place in Ground Events Championship and 7th place in Flight Events Championship.

"The aviation community is a tight-knit community, and NIFA is very significant to it," said LETU flight team coach Jered Lease. "This top 5 finish showcases the quality of our program and skillset of our graduates. A lot of professional aviators who graduated from these programs now have their eyes on East Texas and are asking what we are doing differently since the top 5 at the national competition have been traditionally owned by the same schools for a decade or more."

Some of the schools that LETU outranked included the United States Air Force Academy, Ohio State University, Western Michigan University, the University of Nebraska, the Oklahoma State University, Auburn, Purdue, Liberty University and many others among the 28 teams competing. Embry Riddle Aeronautical University Prescott placed 1st, with University of North Dakota, Southern Illinois University and Embry Riddle Daytona taking 2nd, 3rd and 4th respectively.

LETU has placed four times in the Top 10, beating last year's 7th place overall and their 8th place in 2016. LETU first began competing in NIFA competition in 2004. LETU's Sting flight team took 1st place regionally last October to qualify to compete at nationals.

In the 2018 competition, the LETU team of Addison Duncan as drop master and Joshua Kelly as pilot took 1st place in the Message Drop competition.
Taking 3rd place in Instrument Simulated Flight competition was LETU pilot Thomas Alley, who also took 3rd in the Top Pilot competition and 3rd in Simulated Comprehensive Aircraft Navigation (SCAN) competition. Following Alley in SCAN were Jonathan Mammen at 6th, Joshua Kelly at 15th and Benjamin White at 34th.

In Aircraft Preflight Inspection, Team Captain Noah Bronner took 4th place.

Regional Top Pilot was Benjamin White.

Receiving the Outstanding Team Member Award for LETU was Jeffrey Rosinbaum.

LETU placed 9th for Judges Trophy competition.

Other results for LETU were as follows:

Power Off Landing: Thomas Alley, 5; Benjamin White, 26.

Top Scoring Contestant of the top 319 ranked: Thomas Alley, 4; Addison Duncan, 39; Noah Bronner, 54; Jonathan Mammen, 61; Jonathan Rurup, 75 tie; Trevor Taylor, 75 tie; Benjamin White, 93; Joshua Kelly 101;James Hulsey 126; Jeffrey Rosinbaum 139.

Computer Accuracy: Trevor Taylor 9.

Ground Trainer: Thomas Alley 8; Benjamin White 16.

Navigation: Thomas Alley, pilot, and Noah Bronner, Safety Observer, 12; Jonathan Rurup, pilot, and Addison Duncan, Safety Observer, 20

Short Field Landing: Benjamin White, 25; Thomas Alley, 29.

The team's coach and faculty advisor is Jered Lease.

LeTourneau University is the premier Christian polytechnic university in the nation where educators engage students to nurture Christian virtue, develop competency and ingenuity in their professional fields, integrate faith and work, and serve the local and global community. The LETU aviation program is the only comprehensive university-level aviation program in the state of Texas. LETU offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs across a range of disciplines and delivery models at LETU's residential campus in Longview, Texas, and in hybrid and fully online options at centers in Dallas and Houston. Claiming every workplace in every nation as their mission field, LeTourneau University graduates are professionals of ingenuity and Christ-like character who see life's work as a holy calling with eternal impact. For additional information, visit www.letu.edu.