News Releases 2008

Aeronautical Science Department Noted For Safety Excellence

Tue, Aug 12 2008

LeTourneau University was recognized for excellence by Phoenix Aviation Managers, Inc. of Kennesaw, Ga., following a recent Aviation Safety Audit of its School of Aeronautical Science.

"While we do numerous Aviation Safety Audits, only a select few are recognized for their excellence," wrote Thomas E. Harris, assistant vice president of inspection services for Phoenix Aviation in a letter that accompanied the certificate. "You, your faculty and staff, and students can be justifiably proud of your interest in safety and your demonstrated record of superior performance."

Aviation professor Lauren G. Bitikofer, who also chairs the flight department, said safety is a priority for the LETU aviation school."Safety is of paramount importance," he said. "We do everything we can to create a safety awareness among all of our faculty, staff and students.

"During an inspection," Bitikofer said, "auditors look at the shop and see whether things are neat and orderly. They look at the airplanes and see they are in good order and well maintained. They want to see that we operate in as safe a manner as we can.

"And before any LETU aircraft leaves the ground, our students do a flight-risk assessment on themselves, their health, any medications they take, their personal stress levels, what they have had to eat or drink, and they study the weather to determine whether the mission or purpose of the flight is worth the risk," Bitikofer said. "We want them to always ask, is the risk for the flight I'm taking worth doing."