2024-2025 Official University Academic Catalog 
    May 19, 2024  
2024-2025 Official University Academic Catalog

Department of Flight Science

Mr. Bruce Chase, Chair



Professional pilots utilize ingenuity in applying knowledge of the airplane, weather, and flight regulations along with skillful flight technique and interpersonal relationships to safely fly airplanes. The flight training degrees offered are crafted to build the knowledge, skill, and judgement required necessary for advancing in a professional aviation career.

Our flight training program is unique in industry because we use the Citabria tailwheel aircraft as our primary trainer. The first few hours of training are critical. Habits and patterns formed during this time often follow pilots throughout their entire career. Many pilots begin flying airplanes that are very easy to fly and can hide fundamental piloting mistakes because they are so docile. Thus, pilots trained in these aircraft often fail to realize they possess serious deficiencies in basic coordination and airmanship. In contrast, the Citabria safely exposes these errors and better allows our instructors to immediately identify and correct problem areas. It’s best if these fundamental skills are ingrained at the very first stages of training since they grow increasingly difficult to change as a pilot gains experience.

After earning their Private Pilot Certificate in the tailwheel airplane, students continue through the Commercial Pilot Certificate with Instrument Rating using a variety of aircraft and Aviation Training Devices (ATD or “simulators”). Our fleet of training aircraft include the latest Technically Advanced Aircraft (TAA) so students learn to manage complex electronic cockpits and electronic flight displays.


Academic Expectations and Requirements


Developing professional pilots extends beyond flying the airplane. Personal preparation is essential. Semester pressures, in addition to flight training, demand students begin each semester ready for flight training course.


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 Academic disciplinary action for academic honesty, 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 toxicology testing at the expense of the University. Refusal to take this test may be grounds for disciplinary action.


Flight Training Policies

Students are enrolled in flight training courses when they meet the requisite requirements for each course. Flight course requisites include appropriate FAA pilot and medical certification, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) approval when required, and successful progress in flight courses. Students who do not have the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) knowledge test complete or have not completed the prerequisite flight course by the semester start date, may be required to withdraw from the training course in which they are enrolled. Flight training courses begin on the dates specified on the university calendar except summer flight training courses. Summer training courses may start after the date published in the university calendar to allow completion of spring flying and prepare for the summer flying. Start dates for the summer flying will be published and disseminated to students.

TSA requires certain documentation from students before they can be enrolled in a Private Pilot, Instrument, or Multi-engine training program. 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. Non-United States citizens enrolling at LeTourneau University for flight training need to notify the College of Aviation and Aeronautical Science at least 60 days before beginning training. The student must present a current passport and visa. We will assist in making application with TSA for a clearance to train. This process takes some time, and the TSA charges a nonrefundable processing fee.

To ensure progress of training is met, students are not permitted to enroll for a subsequent flight course until they meet the current progress requirements established by the department for the course in which they are conducting training.  This practice ensures resource availability for those students conducting flight training within our program.  Training progress gates for registration will be established for each course at the start of the semester and adjusted accordingly for any weather or other training delays beyond a student’s reasonable level of control.


To manage the flight schedule and flight blocks, we display the flight schedule in the flight dispatch area. The displayed information contains your last name and scheduled block time. Flight students can also see the flight schedule in our flight learning management system (ETA). We also display the flight track information for each airplane in the dispatch area when that information is available. By enrolling in any flight course at LeTourneau University students acknowledge that it will be necessary to publicly display flight information and schedules to facilitate the management of the flight training.


Should a student fail a flight course, flight training stops the day the failing grade is issued. Any funds remaining in the student’s flight training account will be returned to the student’s account. To continue flight training, the student must register for the course again and pay the required course fee. Provided no more than one year has passed since the student enrolled in the course that was failed, the Chief Instructor may authorize the student to resume the course at the point in the syllabus reached on the previous attempt. If more than one year has passed, the student must begin the syllabus at the beginning.



Failure to complete an AERF flight course in two enrollments will require a change of major to which the flight requirement is not required.  Any appeal to this policy must be submitted by the student, in writing, to the Chair of Flight Science.


Flight course fees are based on the amount of flight instructor and aircraft time required to achieve the proficiencies required for the given course. Charges for flight instructor time include flight instruction and ground instruction. Aircraft charges are based on actual aircraft time and type of aircraft flown. Courses also includes fees for the simulations lab, electronic records keeping system, and in some cases FAA Check ride and Paperwork processing.  

Flight fees must be pre-paid. Students have access to the University’s flight training electronic record keeping system so that they can actively monitor their standing. If a student account is running low due to less than average progress they will be notified. Flight training could be stopped until additional funds are deposited. Once a course is completed any money left in the course account is returned to the student’s general account which can then be applied to the subsequent course.


Students who do not already have pilot certificates and ratings, are encouraged to wait and get their training with us. There is a huge variation in the quality of training available and initial training creates lifelong habits.

Students who have received ground or flight training toward a certificate or rating but who have not completed that certificate or rating before beginning flight training at LeTourneau will be required to enroll in the appropriate course and complete the flight training syllabus for that certificate or rating. This includes students who have completed the FAA knowledge exam, but have not completed the flight training for the certificate or rating.

Students who hold a pilot certificate prior to enrolling at LeTourneau are required to take Flight Policies and Standardization (AERF 1201 ) during their first semester of flight training. This course must be completed successfully before the student can take additional flight courses. Credit for pilot certificates and ratings are contingent on the following policies:

  • A student who enrolls and holds a Private Pilot Certificate obtained through a non-accredited entity (such as an FBO flight school or trade school) will be allowed to bypass Primary Flight I (AERF 1132 ) and Primary Flight II (AERF 1142 ). Credit hours from classes that are bypassed do not count toward the minimum credit hour requirements for the degree. Any college course not required in the degree can be used to meet the required course hours - including flight instructor courses.  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 AERF 1113 AERF 1132  and AERF 1142  applied toward their degree once the course work has been evaluated by the registrar.
  • 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 3423 , or AERO 4133 , and complete at least one flight course leading to an additional certificate or rating.


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 or minor will be withdrawn from that major or minor. This policy does not preclude rental of aircraft for personal transportation and recreational purposes.

Flight Science Majors and Concentration

LeTourneau has a long heritage of preparing students for service as professional missionary pilots and technicians. Mission aviation organizations visit the campus regularly, meeting with students and providing input into the training program.

Mission Aviation, Flight Concentration, B.S. (AFMI)  

This major combines cross-cultural studies with the aircraft systems science curriculum and a commercial flight training program leading to the Commercial Pilot Certificate with Instrument Rating in single and multi-engine aircraft and the Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) Mechanic Certificate. This degree can be completed in eight regular semesters and one summer session.



Professional Flight, B.S. (AFPP)  

This major is designed for the student preparing for a career as a professional pilot. It 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. This degree can be completed in eight regular semesters.


Professional Flight, Aviation Maintenance Concentration, B.S. (AFFS)  

This major is designed for the student who wants to combine flight training with the aviation maintenance science curriculum leading to the Commercial Pilot Certificate with Instrument Rating in single and multi-engine aircraft and the Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) Mechanic Certificate. This is a highly technical degree with a strong emphasis in general aviation operations, including corporate aviation. This degree provides the broadest background for a career in aviation ranging through airline, corporate, missions, military, and general aviation. The Flight Instructor certificate is recommended. This degree can be completed in eight regular semesters and one summer session.


Professional Flight, Military Concentration, B.S. (AFML)  

This 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 the professional flight training required for civilian pilots, this concentration will give that competitive edge needed to truly excel in military flight school. This concentration also gives the flexibility to choose a focus area such as leadership, management, or international studies.


Aviation Management, Professional Pilot Concentration, B.S. (AVMF)  

This concentration combines a strong management foundation with the courses and skills needed to become a professional pilot. This degree would be of particular interest to students desiring to combine flying with owning or operating an aviation business.


A student may obtain flight training by declaring the professional flight minor added to any other major at LeTourneau University.

Flight Instructor, Multi-engine Minor (FIM)  

This minor includes courses leading to Flight Instructor - Multi-Engine, Single Engine, and Instrument.



Private Pilot Certificate (PP)  

This certificate program includes the classroom and flight training required to earn the Private Pilot, Airplane single engine land certificate.