Students in Pulaski Tech's Aviation Maintenance Technology program have another plane to train on now with the donation of a Cessna 414 to the college.
Danny R. Cook, president and chief financial officer of Unishippers of Arkansas, donated the1970 Cessna 414 Twin Turbo to the Pulaski Technical College Foundation. The twin-engine aircraft is valued at $250,000.
"My family has been blessed beyond my wildest dreams," Cook said, during a news conference Thursday at Pulaski Technical College's Aviation Maintenance Technology Center, which houses the plane. "My wife Karla and I believe in giving back, and we wanted to give something that would help others pursue their dreams. By donating the Cessna 414 aircraft to Pulaski Tech, we know it will help students who are pursing a career or profession in aviation. We want this to be a training tool they can use in their pursuits for many years to come."
The plane will be used by students enrolled in degree and certificate programs at the Aviations Maintenance Technology Center.
"This is the first operational twin engine turbo-charged aircraft to be added to our training fleet," said Steve Hotle, the aviation maintenance technology program's lead instructor. "The aircraft will not only benefit us in the training of the powerplant and associated systems but also will also add to our capabilities for avionics training. Students enrolled in the aviation technology programs will now have exposure to a variety of training possibilities and hands-on experience in preparation for employment in the demanding field of aviation maintenance."
About 100 students will be enrolled this fall in the Aviation Maintenance Technology program, which is certified by the Federal Aviation Administration as an aviation maintenance school.
Students can pursue FAA certification as an aircraft maintenance technician with an airframe rating and/or a powerplant rating and also pursue the Associate of Applied Science degree in aviation maintenance technology.
Many of the program's graduates find jobs with aviation companies in central Arkansas, including Hawker Beechcraft, Central Flying Service and Dassault Falcon Jet Corp., as well as with companies around the state.
"Pulaski Technical College relies heavily on support from central Arkansas businesses that benefit from a well-trained and readily available workforce," said Joyce Taylor, executive director of the Pulaski Technical College Foundation. "We are grateful to Danny and Karla Cook for wanting to make a difference in students' lives through education."