Students enrolled in the airframe and powerplant mechanic program at Colorado Northwestern Community College in Rangely, Colo., are getting a first-class introduction to business aviation. West Star Aviation has donated a Learjet 35A to the college.
“As expensive as business jets can be, it is hard for an A&P school to acquire a real aircraft with which to train its students,” Larry McNutt, West Star Aviation’s director of maintenance, told AIN. “We knew the Learjet would be a big asset for the college by allowing students to learn and train in a real-world environment rather than exclusively on mock-up boards.”
West Star Aviation acquired the aircraft last year to supply parts for a Learjet 35A it was completing for an unspecified foreign government.
Dave Krogman, general manager for West Star, said that when the project arrived West Star realized the aircraft would need a lot of replacement parts. “It became obvious a donor aircraft was far more efficient than buying individual parts,” he said. “When the project was completed we were left with the basic airframe and we thought it would be a good asset for the college.” According to McNutt, the airframe was intact and while it was no longer airworthy some systems and components were operable, making it an ideal training aid.