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LETU "Sting" Flight Team Wins First Place at Regional Flying Competition


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. 13-17.

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 events rankings."

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 sixth.

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 http://nifa.us/2009_REGION_4_RESULTS.html.

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

Message Drop

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

Power-Off Landings

7th Place: Andre Ziolkowski

14th Place: Alex Minium

16th Place: Andrew Robinson

18th Place: Chad Mertz
25th Place: Blake Eden

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