University of the Fraser Valley students are about to get a lot more hands-on experience thanks to a large and loud donation.
KF Aerospace in Kelowna donated a Boeing 727 -200 aircraft to UFV on Wednesday by touching the plane down at the Abbotsford International Airport.
The aircraft will be available for students to use in the Aircraft Structural Technician program, where they will learn how to repair, maintain, assemble, and modify the plane.
“It’s a nice plane,” UFV student Jerome Carretas said, rapping his fist on the inside of the hollowed-out Boeing.
UFV dean of applied and technical studies John English says the plane will be beneficial for students, who will get the opportunity to have hands-on experience.
“These students will know how to fix these airplanes. Many of these students will end up in manufacturing jobs, where they’ll make structural components for airplanes,” he said. “They’ll put their hands on every part of it.”
KF Aerospace director of human resources Grant Stevens says his company doesn’t have a use for the old planes. The Boeing 727 stopped producing in 1984, so instead of having the old aircraft take up space or selling its parts overseas, Stevens said that donating them makes sense.
“The reality is that we’re not going to use them,” he said, adding that their mandate is to boost the aerospace industry in Canada.
This is not the first time the company has donated a used aircraft; In May of this year, they donated another Boeing 727 to the Fanshawe College in London, Ont.
“We want to make sure that students [who] are going to be future employers of ours have practice working on real-world aircrafts,” Stevens said.
For 40 years, this particular Boeing 727 worked for Air Italia, Continental Airlines, Purolator, and the KF Aerospace. As its last stop, the plane has rolled into the UFV Aerospace Centre, located at the Abbotsford International Airport.
UFV will formally thank KF Aerospace at the Abbotsford International Airshow, which runs August 7 through 9, with the Boeing 727 on display.