Carson Air plane bound for OC

The aircraft, donated to the Okanagan College aircraft maintenance engineering program, was still in active service only days before.

Carson Air vice-president of operations Kevin Hillier with Okanagan College AME program instructor Dale Keegstra.

A local aviation company has touched down with its second major donation to Okanagan College in as many months.

Carson Air has donated a Metroliner II aircraft to the Aircraft Maintenance Engineering (AME) M-License program; the company estimates the value of the aircraft at approximately $300,000.

The aircraft landed at the Vernon Airport on Oct. 16, welcomed by students, instructors, and Okanagan College employees outside the college’s aerospace hangar adjacent to the runway.

“This aircraft has served Carson Air very well and we are proud to see it put to use as a training tool at Okanagan College,” said Carson Air’s vice-president of operations Kevin Hillier.

“We’ve hired numerous graduates of the college’s AME program over the years, so in a way, we are supporting the future of our industry and our company with this donation.”

On Sept. 19, Carson Air announced a donation of $125,000 to support the purchase of a flight simulator for the Commercial Aviation program in Kelowna.

“Support from industry plays a vital role in the college’s ability to provide high quality training experiences,” said Okanagan College president Jim Hamilton.

“We sincerely appreciate Carson Air’s investment in our students, Canada’s future aircraft maintenance engineers and aviators, through these very generous donations.

“A gift like this from Carson Air, a local employer of our graduates and mentor to our apprentices, speaks volumes to their commitment to education in the region.”

Built in 1980 in San Antonio, Tex., the Metroliner II saw service with two US regional airlines before being imported to Canada in 1994 when it was converted to haul cargo.

Nearly 60 feet in length and with a wingspan to match, the 19-passenger, twin-engine turboprop has been part of Carson Air’s fleet since 1998.

The plane’s arrival in Vernon from Carson Air’s hangar in Kelowna marked the final flight for the aircraft, after more than 35,000 hours in the air over Canada and the U.S. (about 14,000 under Carson Air’s banner).

While the aircraft’s time in commercial service may be over, its utility as a teaching tool will go on for years, said AME program lead and acting chair Dale Martell.

“It will be utilized primarily for structures and electrical training,” said Martell. “Electrical is one of the most challenging areas facing AME students, and so the hands-on experience they can get by working on an aircraft of this complexity is invaluable.”

Also upping the excitement factor for students is the fact that the aircraft was still in active service only days before it landed at the college.

“The more types of aircraft we work on, the greater depth of experience we gain,” said AME student Ashley LaPointe.

“This gives us pure experience on an aircraft we’ll definitely encounter out in the industry, which is very beneficial.”

Earlier this month, the college received a Jetstream 31 aircraft from the Swanberg family of Grande Prairie and Fort St. John. That aircraft was valued at nearly $700,000, putting the total in-kind value of aircraft received by the college in 2015 at about $1 million.

Through the AME M- and S-License programs offered in Kelowna and Vernon, the college instructs students on structures, electrical and mechanical maintenance of fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters and welcomes donations of aircraft and components.

Learn more about OC’s AME program online at okanagan.bc.ca/ame.

 

Just Posted

Casa Loma residents petition to halt proposed Blackmun Bay project

West Kelowna City Council grants second reading for what would be the city’s largest development

Lakestone Grand Opening set for this weekend in Lake Country

MP Stephen Fuhr, MLA Norm Letnick and Mayor James Baker will all speak at the event

West Kelowna RCMP search witnesses in assault

A man was attacked in the early morning on July 16

Kelowna ranks fifth in where Canadians will move to buy a home: study

‘The study suggests that the dream of homeownership is very much alive and well,’ said Finder’s editor

Small business spotlight: Kelowna’s master tailor

Sam Galvez started his business in Kelowna 6 years ago

VIDEO: B.C. MLA Michelle Stilwell takes first steps in nearly 30 years

‘It actually felt like walking. It’s been 27 years… but it felt realistic to me’

Taekwondo instructor, 21, identified as B.C. bat rabies victim

Nick Major, 21, an instructor at Cascadia Martial Arts in Parksville

Science expedition to Canada’s largest underwater volcano departs Vancouver Island

Crews prepared for a two-week research mission to the Explorer Seamount

Summerland clinic will be closed on August long weekend

Medical office assistant needed at Rosedale Medical Clinic

Driver who killed Shuswap motorcyclist receives absolute discharge

Chase family speechless following decision by BC Review Board

B.C. shipyard to get one-third of $1.5 billion frigate-repair contract

The federal government has promised to invest $7.5 billion to maintain the 12 frigates

Anglican Church to review governance structure after same-sex marriage change fails

Some say the current system to change doctrine gives too much voting power to a smaller class of bishops

B.C. adding fast-charge stations for electric highway trips

Okanagan, Vancouver Island, Kootenay stations ready for use

Comedian Gerry Dee ready to lighten things up at BC Hockey Hall of Fame

Canadian actor and stand-up comedian Gerry Dee is hosting the event in Penticton

Most Read