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LETU 'Sting' Flight Team Wins First Place at Regional SAFECON competition


LeTourneau University's Sting Precision Flight Team won first place at the 2016 Regional SAFECON collegiate flight competition, hosted by Central Texas College in Killeen, Texas, this past week.

This marks the fourth year in a row that the team has brought home the gold. The team scored over 600 points in a combination of flight and ground events, which bested the nearest competition by 72 points. In addition to the championship, the team took home the sportsmanship award, which is based upon votes cast by other competing teams.

"While we are thrilled with the way they performed, we are especially pleased that the other teams recognized their sportsmanship and character, and that their behavior reflected well on the university and on the God they serve," said LETU Dean of Aviation Fred Ritchey.

There were many success by individual team members including
• first place in the Navigation event by pilot Thomas Alley (sophomore from Tuscola, Texas) and safety observer Austin Turner (sophomore from Modesto, Calif.),
• first place in the Short Field Landing flight event and Aircraft Recognition flight event by Er-Jin Jang (senior from Daegu, South Korea),
• first place Message Drop flight event by Addison Duncan (sophomore from Enid, Texas) and Benjamin White (sophomore from Tyler, Texas),
• first place in the Simulated Comprehensive Aircraft Navigation ground event by Jonathan Reigle (senior from San Antonio, Texas), and
• first place in the aviation math-based Manual Flight Computer ground event by Trevor Taylor (junior from Keller, Texas).

Everyone on the team scored points in at least one event by placing in 20th place or higher in their individual or partnered events.

Other competing team members include James Hulsey (sophomore from Bandera, Texas), Jonathan Rurup (sophomore from White Bear Lake, Minn.), Michael Neis (sophomore from Eden Prairie, Minn.), Jonathan Deak (senior from Coeurd'Alen, Idaho) and Noah Bronner (sophomore from Thompson Falls, Mo.).

"Considering the average age of this team is a second-semester sophomore, I'm thrilled with their performance," said faculty advisor Jered Lease who works alongside flight instructor and coach Cody Shamblin to manage and direct the team.

By placing first, the team has earned the opportunity to represent East Texas collegiate aviation on a national stage in Columbus, Ohio, next spring. The team is currently looking for individual and corporate sponsors to help with the costs of the upcoming competition.

LeTourneau University is the 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. 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.

Categories: Aviation