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LETU Flight Team Wins First at Regional NIFA Competition


LETU's "Sting" Precision Flight Team won first place overall, first place in ground events and third place in the flying events at the recent National Intercollegiate Flying Association's 2010 Region IV SAFECON competition hosted by Central Texas College in Killeen, Texas. The competition was held Nov. 2-6. The team's first place overall win at regionals qualifies the students to compete May 16-21, 2011 in Columbus, Ohio at The Ohio State University.

"This is the third consecutive year we have won first place in this competition," said Brad Wooden, assistant chief flight instructor, faculty advisor and team coach. "Weather played a role in the scheduling of events this year. Tuesday, the weather was cold, rainy and windy, so we weren't able to practice landings. All the ground events were completed on Wednesday. Thursday was too windy to safely do landings, so navigation and message drop were held. Landings were done on Friday when wind died down."

LETU competes regionally with schools in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.

Individual results are as follows:

In Computer Accuracy, students are given a timed, written test of aviation math problems to figure problems dealing with time, speed, distance, gradients, weight, balance and wind issues.
Jered Gebel: 1st
Caleb Waite: 2nd
Steve Hederstedt: 3rd
Michael Felts: 4th
Rachel Ballou: 8th

In Ground Trainer events, contestants fly on a flight simulator making complex patterns including climbs, descents and turns. A computerized scoring system keeps account of inaccurate flying.
Alex Minium: 2nd
Steve Hederstedt: 7th

In Aircraft Recognition competition, students are given three seconds to view a partial photo of an aircraft and must select the right answer within 15 seconds.
Bennett Hoogewerf: 1st
Sam Myers: 3rd
Brandon McCann: 4th
Chad Mertz: 5th
Steve Hederstedt: 6th

In the Aircraft Preflight Inspection competition, young pilots find discrepancies in preflight checks that have been placed there by mechanics.
Rachel Ballou: 1st
Chad Mertz: 3rd

In the Message Drop Competition, students drop a 2-oz. container from an altitude of 200 feet into a barrel.
Michael Felts/Jered Gebel: 1st
Rachel Ballou/Stephanie Amavisca: 7th
Bennett Hoogewerf/Daniel Johnson: 8th

In the Power Off Landing competition, students turn down the engine power to the plane and land the plane like a glider.
Alex Minium: 7th

In the Simulated Comprehensive Aircraft Navigation (SCAN) event, students are tested on pre-flight planning and en route navigation based on charts for a hypothetical flight from departure to destination and return to point of departure.
Caleb Waite: 2nd
Jessica Mellon: 3rd
Ken Misiak: 4th
Rachel Ballou: 7th
Daniel Johnson: 10th

In the Navigation team event, teams have an hour to plan a cross-country flight plan and submit it before take off, then the team flies the route and are judged on how accurately their plan matched their flight.
Steve Hederstedt/Patrick Harney: 2nd
Ken Misiak/Jessica Mellon: 3rd
Caleb Waite/Stephanie Amavisca: 4th

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