The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Local corporation donates jet to NW aviation students

President+and+CEO+of+Air+Center+Helicopter+Rodney+Tinney+sits+in+the+Lear+24D+jet+he+donated+to+the+NW+aviation+department.+Students+will+have+the+chance+to+study+the+operational+aircraft+during+their+classes.+%0D%0ADavid+Reid%2FThe+Collegian
President and CEO of Air Center Helicopter Rodney Tinney sits in the Lear 24D jet he donated to the NW aviation department. Students will have the chance to study the operational aircraft during their classes. David Reid/The Collegian

By Taylor Jensen/nw news editor

President and CEO of Air Center Helicopter Rodney Tinney sits in the Lear 24D jet he donated to the NW aviation department. Students will have the chance to study the operational aircraft during their classes.
David Reid/The Collegian

Instead of upgrading the operations of its Lear 24D jet, Air Center Helicopter decided instead to donate it to the NW aviation department.

NW business dean James Grant said because Air Center Helicopter is a neighbor to NW Campus, it was aware of the aviation program.

“The aircraft was going to be costly for them to upgrade for operation with the airspace system in place today. They decided to either sell it or donate it,” he said. “In the end, they decided it would be great for our program.”

The aircraft will benefit aviation students because it offers a different learning experience, Grant said.

“In many cases, we are only able to use pictures or video to describe systems found on high-altitude, high-speed jet aircraft,” he said. “Having a Lear presents the opportunity for our students to see and touch the components that comprise complex systems found only in a corporate jet.”

NW vice president of continuing education Gary Goodwin said the donation was a win-win situation.

“It is a great opportunity for our students to be able to actually work on an aircraft that is in flying condition,” he said. “It can be pulled out of the hangar and started so students can become familiarized with its systems, such as pressurization, oxygen and other [tools] to which they currently don’t have access.”

NW director of aviation Joseph McCourt said the department strives to provide realistic aircraft maintenance training to its students and the addition of the Lear 24D will help continue that practice.

“Air Center Helicopter was able to supply us with the logbooks and aircraft manuals, which will be key to ensuring that our students perform their work by the book,” he said. “I feel it is important the community thinks of TCC as a valuable resource and are willing to [give] such a generous gift we can use to train and educate future aircraft technicians.”

Grant also said he considers the donation incredibly generous.

“It is easily one of the most valuable donations ever made to our program, and it represents the first turbo-jet aircraft in the program’s fleet,” he said. “I think we are lucky to have neighbors that think enough of us to offer a donation like this.”

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