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In a move that “gives back” to the Canadian aviation industry, KF Aerospace has donated retired Boeing 727 freighters to four aircraft maintenance training programs, where they will be used as valuable hands-on instructional aids. Recipients include Canadore College in North Bay, Ont.; Fanshawe College in London, Ont.; Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ont.; and University of the Fraser Valley in Abbotsford, B.C.
The latest aircraft was delivered to Canadore College in December 2015 and has been stored at North Bay’s Jack Garland Airport. Throughout the summer, Canadore aviation students painted the 727 with a red tail, large Canadore titles on the fuselage, and the college’s panther mascot on the tail.
Canadore College officially accepted the aircraft on Oct. 7, 2016, with representatives on hand from KF Aerospace as well as municipal and provincial government, including North Bay Mayor Al McDonald and Ontario MPP Vic Fedeli.
“This is the first heavy aircraft of its kind here at Canadore College,” said Martin Galvin, Dean of Aviation Technology. “This heavy aircraft is in serviceable condition, giving our students a remarkable opportunity to work on a training aid that functions as it would in service.”
The Boeing 727-200 freighter, registered C-GJKF, was retired when KF Aerospace lost the Purolator contract in 2015. It carried shipments across Canada for 17 years, accumulating over 11,000 flight hours. The jet will be extensively used as a hands-on training aid for students in Canadore College’s School of Aviation Technology. The beauty of such a large aircraft is the fact that simultaneous, yet separate, training can take place at various locations on the aircraft.
“I am very pleased to be able to give back to colleges like Canadore that work hard to support aviation in Canada,” said Barry Lapointe, the CEO of KF Aerospace, who also trained as an aircraft maintenance engineer. “Training future AMEs is an important role that allows us to expand our business.”
The aircraft was recently appraised at $795,000. Canadore College created a purpose-built parking pad adjacent to its aviation campus hangar for the training aid.
“Not only does the plane’s tremendous size and interior configuration allow for larger groups of students to practice simultaneously, but its many fully operational systems, avionics equipment and spacious compartments are greatly beneficial to student learning outcomes,” continued Galvin. “We are extremely grateful to KF Aerospace for their generous donation. We will put it to good use in training future aviation professionals and leaders.”
This semester’s aviation students have already incorporated the grounded aircraft in the classroom experience to complement the college’s other training aids.
Canadore has offered an aviation program for 43 years, specializing in rotary-wing pilot training, avionics, and aircraft maintenance. Just this year, the college–one of the largest in Northern Ontario–added a brand new, state-of-the-art composite shop at the Jack Garland Airport.