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LETU Aviation Instructor Brad Wooden Named NIFA "Coach of the Year"


LeTourneau University flight team faculty advisor and team coach Bradley S. Wooden won the coveted title of Coach of the Year at the recent National Intercollegiate Flying Association 2011 SAFECON competition held at The Ohio State University.

Wooden is nationally recognized as a Master Certificated Flight Instructor, a distinction that fewer than 700 of 93,000 certified flight instructors in the country have achieved. He is also one of only 30 Texas flight instructors to earn this prestigious "Master" title.

"I am honored, and it means a lot to me that these students nominated me for this award," Wooden said. "I know they recognize how much they mean to me."

This year was Wooden's sixth year as the NIFA coach and the first time to win this award.

The judges ranked LETU's "Sting" Precision Flight Team 10th in the nation, and with an overall 17th place ranking in the championships. The team claimed first place at regionals in the fall to qualify to compete at nationals, which included 28 schools from all over the United States comprising 335 contestants.

"Due to weather constraints, we did not get to compete all of our students in some of their traditionally strongest events," Wooden said. "Only one of three students was able to compete in navigation events and only two of five students got to compete in the message drop event. We had a few of our people just out of the top 20 in scoring. All five of our aircraft identification team placed in the top 50.

"I'm very proud of our team, especially since five of our 15 members on our team had never competed," Wooden said.
Individual rankings are as follows:

Navigation:Steve Hederstedt/Stephanie Amavisca 7th

Power-off landings: Sam Myers 59th
Steve Hederstedt 76th
Chad Mertz 78th
Patrick Harney 107th
Jessie Mellon 120th

Short Field Landings: Brandon McCann 74th
Chad Mertz 90th
Jered Gebel 108th
Stephanie Amavisca 116th
Michael Felts 123rd

Ground Trainer: Steve Hederstedt 27th
Justin Sutton 41st

IFR Simulator: Steve Hederstedt 22nd

Message Drop: Sam Myers/Suzanne Ketter 21st

Manual Flight Computer (E6B):
Patrick Harney 29th
Jered Gebel 38th
Michael Felts 44th
Steve Hederstedt 52nd
Whitney Brouwer 62nd

Aircraft Identification: Jon Weber 16th
Brandon McCann 36th
Chad Mertz 39th
Justin Sutton 40th
Sam Myers 42nd

Crew Resource Management:
Chad Mertz/Jered Gebel 15th

Aircraft Preflight: Chad Mertz 6th
Christian Morales 27th

Certified Flight Instructor:
Steve Hederstedt 5th

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