Date: April 16, 2012
It was a windy afternoon on March 27 when a Cessna Sky Master 337C flew into its new home at the Andrews Airpark. Arriving from Goshen, Ind., it was greeted by a group of very excited students, faculty and staff. The high-performance plane was a donation from John Hull, co-owner of Emergency Radio Service, Inc., in Ligonier, Ind.
Weeks ago, James Doran, assistant professor of aviation and chief flight instructor, received a call from a friend associated with Emergency Radio Service, Inc. Ted Selman of Goshen Airport had completed some advanced flight training at Andrews University and became acquainted with Doran. He also knew of Emergency Radio Service’s interest in selling their plane and contacted Doran to see if Andrews University might be interested in the donation. The answer was a resounding “yes.” Selman then suggested to Hull that the company should consider donating the plane to the University and Hull agreed.
The six-person plane, recently appraised for more than $150,000, is currently being used to train students in the aviation maintenance program. The students will be helping restore the plane’s interior and complete the required inspection to return it to approved flight status.
In recent years, the Department of Aviation has received several aircraft donations from generous friends and supporters. “The Department of Aviation has a real need to update the airplanes used within our growing program’s flight training fleet, as well as the aviation maintenance program,” says Dina Simmons, chair of the Department of Aviation and Airpark manager. “Since these aircraft are costly training aids and our budget is limited for upgrades, we have gone more and more to seeking donations to meet our needs whenever possible.”
Some of the planes the department has received over the past few years have gone straight into the air as flight trainers; others are being used in the aviation maintenance program or being restored by students and staff.