TORONTO — In a move that “gives back” to the Canadian aviation industry, KF Aerospace has donated retired several Boeing 727 freighters over the last several years to four college level aircraft maintenance training programs, where they will be used as valuable large hands-on instructional aids.
Kelowna has sent retired 727s to aviation schools including: Fanshawe College in London, and Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ontario and University of the Fraser Valley in Abbotsford, B.C.
The latest aircraft was delivered to Canadore College at Jack Garland Airport in North Bay, Ontario in December 2015. Through the summer of 2016 Canadore College Aviation program 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 celebrated the acceptance on October 7, 2016 with KF Aerospace officials, and municipal and provincial government officials on hand including Mayor Al MacDonald and Member of Provincial Parliament 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 (C-GJKF • MSN 21042 • LN 1106) 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 727 will be extensively used as a hands-on training aid for students in the Canadore College School of Aviation Technology. The beauty of such a large aircraft is the fact that simultaneous, yet separate training of various types can taking 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,” indicated Barry Lapointe, the CEO of KF Aerospace, who is also an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer by training. “Training future AMEs is an important role that allows us to expand our business.”
KF Aerospace director of quality assurance Glenn Smith was also on hand for the ceremony. According to Smith:“This has been the best moment of my career in aviation, seeing the aircraft placed with a fine institute like Canadore, and allowing us the opportunity to `pay it forward`to the college training system.”
Several Canadore graduates are employed by KF Aerospace. The aircraft was appraised at CAD $795,000 and Canadore College created a purpose-built parking pad adjacent to its Aviation Campus hangar at YYB for permanent placement of the training aid, because it is too large to fit into the hangar.
“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,” said Galvin. “We are extremely grateful to KF Aerospace for their generous donation. We will put it to good use in training the future aviation professionals and leaders.”
The aircraft is already in use by Canadore’s School of Aviation Technology. This semester’s aviation students have already incorporated the grounded aircraft in the classroom experience to complement the College’s other training aids which include various general aviation aircraft and helicopters.
Canadore has incorporated an aviation program for 43 years, specialising in Rotary Wing pilot training, Avionics, and aircraft maintenance, and just this year added a brand new state of the art composite shop at the Jack Garland Airport location. The college is one of the largest in Northern Ontario.