Department of Flight Science
Mr. Lauren G. Bitikofer, Chair
Flight training at LeTourneau University is designed to build a solid foundation of skills necessary for advancing in a professional aviation career. Students begin with the Private Pilot certificate and progress through the Commercial Pilot certificate for multi-engine and single engine aircraft with instrument rating. Many students also earn the Flight Instructor certificate for single and multi-engine aircraft. Flight training is conducted in a variety of aircraft selected to maximize student learning. Students gain skill in single engine, multi-engine, and tailwheel aircraft as well as a variety of flight training devices (simulators). All aircraft except those used for tailwheel training are equipped for instrument flight, most with state of the art, computerized "Glass Panel" instrumentation and communication/navigation equipment. All aeronautical science students take AERF 1113 Flight Science I, which is the private pilot ground school. Students in a flight concentration also take the AERF 1112 LeTourneau Flight Operations and the flight training courses, Primary Flight I (AERF 1111) and Primary Flight II (AERF 1121). Flight training during the summer sessions is also available (Note: See "Summer Flight" section below.)
LeTourneau has a long heritage of preparing students for service as missionary pilots and technicians. Mission aviation organizations visit the campus regularly, meeting with students and providing input into the flight training program. Because most mission aviation organizations require pilots to hold the Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) mechanic certificates, our mission aviation concentration includes that training as well. Students interested in serving in mission aviation in a non-flying capacity should consult the Applied Aviation Sciences section for additional information.
Students may want to consider enrolling in flight courses during the summer. Flight training is intense, time consuming, and sometimes complicated by an otherwise busy university/work schedule. Attending flight courses during the summer relieves the workload during the regular semester and can shorten the time required to obtain flight certificates and ratings. (Note: Enrollment is limited and students are enrolled on a first come, first served basis. Contact the Director of Flight Training to get on the summer flight training list early in the academic year in which you wish to enroll in summer flight training.
Cost of Flight Training
Flight fees are estimated for each course. The actual cost for flight training will vary from student to student based on aptitude, planning, and discipline. Flight charges are based on the amount of dual instruction time and aircraft time the student needs to achieve the required proficiencies. Dual instruction is charged on an hourly basis and includes preflight briefing, flight instruction, and post-flight debriefing time as well as some ground instruction time in preparation for specific flight checks. Aircraft charges are based on actual aircraft time and the type of aircraft flown. Flight fees for each flight course must be pre-paid and are held in the student's account. Any money not used for flight training is released after the course is completed.
Transfer of Pilot Certificates, Ratings, and Training
Students who hold a pilot certificate prior to enrolling at LeTourneau are required to take LeTourneau Flight Operations (AERF 1112)and Flight Policies and Standardization (AERF 1201) during their first semester of flight training. These two courses must be completed successfully before the student can progress any further in the flight program. Credit for pilot certificates and ratings are contingent on the following policies.
A student who enrolls and holds a Private pilot certificate that was obtained through a non-accredited entity (such as an FBO flight school or trade school) will be allowed to bypass Flight Science 1 (AERF1113), Primary Flight I (AERF1111) and Primary Flight II (AERF1121). Credit hours from classes that are bypassed do not count toward the minimum credit hour requirements for the degree. However, if the student holds a Private pilot certificate that was obtained through an accredited college or university they may have the credit hours for AERF1113, AERF1111 and AERF1121 applied toward their degree once the course work has been evaluated by the registrar.
A student who has logged flight training toward a certificate or rating but has not completed that certificate or rating before beginning flight training at LeTourneau will be required to enroll in the appropriate course and complete the entire flight training syllabus for that certificate or rating.
To ensure that the graduate is a product of our program, students who hold pilot certificates and ratings beyond the Private Pilot certificate will be required to take a minimum of 12 credit hours of the following courses: Any AERF course, AERO 2423, or AERO 4133 and complete at least one flight course leading to an additional certificate or rating.
Our goal is to direct each student through a professional pilot training program designed to maximize career potential. To aid in accomplishing this goal, once a student has enrolled at LeTourneau University all subsequent flight training must be completed in residence at LeTourneau regardless of major. Students who receive flight training outside of the university's program toward a certificate or rating that is required for their major/minor will be withdrawn from that major/minor. This policy does not preclude rental of aircraft for personal transportation and recreational purposes.
Flight students not holding a pilot certificate must have a Student Pilot Certificate issued by a designated FAA Medical Examiner prior to registering for a flight-training course. This certificate is issued by a medical doctor who is an FAA Medical Examiner. Medical certificates are issued at three levels: Class III, Class II, and Class I. Students are advised to obtain a Class II certificate if they are planning to pursue a career in professional flight. Students are encouraged to obtain their medical certificates long before they plan to begin flight training. This will ensure that any medical issue can be addressed before actually enrolling in the flight curriculum.
Transportation and Security Administration (TSA) Requirements
The TSA requires certain documentation from students before they can be enrolled in a Private Pilot, Instrument or Multiengine training program. This documentation must be completed before you can enroll in the following flight training courses at LeTourneau University: AERF1111, AERF1121, AERF2411 and AERF3412. The documentation required will depend on whether or not the student is a citizen of the United States. More detailed information can be found at www.aopa.org/tsa_rule. The documentation requirements are:
A United States citizen must verify citizenship by presenting one of the following groups of documents:
Non-United States citizens enrolling at LeTourneau University for flight training need to notify the School of Aeronautical Science at least 60 days before you plan to begin training. We will assist you in making application with TSA for a clearance to train. This process takes some time, and the TSA charges a nonrefundable processing fee. The student will have to present a current passport and visa.
- A valid, unexpired U.S. Passport
- An original or government-issued birth certificate accompanied by
government-issued photo ID
- Original certificate of birth abroad, or original U.S. Naturalization
Certificate, or original certificate of U.S. citizenship, all with raised
seals and accompanied by a government-issued photo ID
Flight students are expected to remain in good standing with the university behaviorally (see Community Life Expectations in the Student Life chapter). A student placed on Disciplinary Probation or Disciplinary Warning for any cause may be reviewed for warning, probation, or suspension from the flight program.
All flight students are required to uphold all federal and state aviation guidelines. In case of an accident or incident, the student may be required to undergo supervised drug testing at the expense of the University. Refusal to take this test may be grounds for disciplinary action as outlined in the above paragraph.
Aeronautical Science Degree and Concentration
The Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Science is designed for the student who wants to combine flight training with the aircraft systems science curriculum leading to a commercial pilot multi-engine and single engine with instrument ratings as well as the A&P mechanic certificate. This is a highly technical degree with a strong emphasis in general aviation operations including corporate aviation. The Flight Instructor certificate is recommended. The flight science B.S. can be completed in eight regular semesters and one summer session.
The Mission Aviation Concentration combines cross cultural studies with the aircraft systems science curriculum and a mission focused, commercial flight training program. Mission Aviation majors will graduate with a commercial pilot multi-engine and single engine with instrument ratings as well as the A&P mechanic certificate. The mission aviation concentration can be completed in eight or nine regular semesters and one summer session.
Professional Flight Degree and Concentrations
The Bachelor of Science degree in Professional Flight is designed for the student preparing for a career as a professional pilot. This major leads to certification as a commercial pilot multi-engine and single engine with instrument ratings with a strong emphasis on large commercial aircraft operations. The Flight Instructor certificate is highly recommended. The professional flight major can be completed in eight regular semesters.
The Management Concentration is designed for the student who is interested in owning or operating an aviation related business. This concentration combines our professional flight training program leading to a commercial pilot multi-engine and single engine with instrument ratings with a strong business and management curricula.
The Marketing Concentration is designed for the student who is interested in aircraft sales or marketing. This concentration combines our professional flight training program leading to a commercial pilot multi-engine and single engine with instrument ratings with a strong business and marketing curricula.
The Military Aviation Concentration is designed for the student interested in pursuing a flying career in one of the U.S. Military branches. While the student does not complete all of the professional flight training required for civilian pilots, this concentration will give that competitive edge you will need to truly excel in military flight school. This concentration also gives you the flexibility to choose a focus area such as leadership, management, or international studies.
A student may obtain flight training by declaring a flight minor added to any other major at LeTourneau. The flight minor includes courses leading to certification as commercial pilot multi-engine and single engine with instrument rating. Flight instructor certificates and ratings may also be added to this minor. Because flight minor students are not required to take Aircraft Systems courses, additional ground instruction is typically required when preparing for FAA knowledge tests and check rides.