This weekend, the spotlight is on our School of Aviation and Aeronautical Science.
Our "Sting" Precision Flight Team is hosting the National Intercollegiate Flying Association Region IV SAFECON flight competition Saturday through Wednesday at our Paul and Betty Abbott Aviation Center at East Texas Regional Airport.
This kind of event showcases the great flight program we have, and it's no wonder that largest general aviation advocacy association in the world, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, recently recognized LETU for its high standard of accomplishment in flight training by naming it to the AOPA 2014 Flight Training Excellence Honor Roll.
About seven teams comprising 75 pilots from collegiate flight programs within a five-state region will come to Longview beginning tomorrow to compete in a host of flying and ground events that begin Saturday morning.
Our ramp at the airport will be parked full of competitor's airplanes throughout the competition, which ends Wednesday with an awards banquet. The top scoring three flight teams at regionals this week will qualify to compete in national competition in the spring.
Our students will strive to take the top prize.
A few years ago, LETU hosted a NIFA regional competition, but this will be the first time for our school to host the events in our impressive Abbott Aviation Center.
This kind of event doesn't just happen. It takes a lot of planning, organization and coordination. Our flight team, along with coach Brad Wooden and our director of flight operations Laura Laster deserve much credit for all the time they have spent to make this a successful event.
Stebbins Aviation is graciously allowing us to conduct our regular flight operations from its location at the airport while our facility is busy with the competition these next few days. The East Texas Regional Airport administrators have been very accommodating by allowing our judges to be positioned along the side of the runways for the competition.
This event is also a boon to our local economy. These competitors from around the region will be sleeping in local hotels, eating in local restaurants and buying fuel through local sources.