PLATTSBURGH Significant progress toward FAA program certification was made by Plattsburgh Aeronautical Institute partners CV-TEC and Clinton Community College in recent months with the acquisition of approximately $4 million worth of aviation equipment from the College of the Ozarks in Branson, MO.
According to PAI project coordinator James R. McCartney, III, in early June 2007, he received a call from a fellow Part 147 program coordinator asking whether the institute would be interested in bidding on a program scheduled to close at the end of that month.
As a program in need of a significant amount of specialized aviation equipment, and with approximately $400,000 remaining in our federally sponsored NASA grant, the invitation received our undivided attention and the full support of our [Champlain Valley Educational Services] Board of Education, said McCartney.
As a result of a successful $382,000 bid for the colleges Part 147 equipment and supplies, PAI acquired most of the instructional material necessary to obtain FAA certification.
McCartney stated CV-TEC leased a number of tractor-trailers and twenty-six-foot rental trucks at the end of June and moved all of the colleges thirty years worth of aviation equipment back to Plattsburgh within about a weeks time.
We are tremendously fortunate to have acquired approximately $4 million worth of equipment, not least of which are instructional boards, varied jet and aircraft engines, tooling, machining equipment, and aircraft parts whose instructional value far exceed the price paid, McCartney stated. We are grateful to the College of the Ozarks personnel for their warm welcome, Pratt & Whitney for placing a value on the equipment itself, to our instructors, and to all who made this exchange possible.
In addition a donation of eight factory-refurbished aircraft engines, new engine stands and training manuals valued at more than $80,000 was received from Lycoming Engines, an aircraft engine manufacturer based in Williamsport.
Rouses Point native Dennis Racine, who serves as Lycoming director of marketing and customer leadership, was credited by Mr. McCartney during a Sept. 21 unveiling for obtaining the engines for CV-TEC. Mr. Racine simply thanked him in response, stating the donation was a great opportunity for Lycoming to help a facility produce high-quality mechanics.
This market has always been somewhat difficult to get into, Mr. Racine said of aeronautical mechanics. And theres not a lot of trade schools in this area ... The mechanics, at the end of the day, are the ones working on our products. Theyre the ones keeping the airplanes flying.
This was just a good synergy of a lot of good things coming together, he added.
In addition to the Ozarks and Lycoming equipment acquisitions, CV-TEC recently coordinated the movement of county-donated former Plattsburgh Air Force Base equipment, from its PIA Quonset hangar storage location to the Clinton County Airport. During the transfer that occurred during the week of Aug. 27, numerous aircraft, start carts, electrical carts, engines and pieces of aviation equipment were relocated in preparation of the Sept. 2008 opening.
Additional progress was made during the summer months toward identifying, acquiring and renovating new PAI campus facilities. In partnership with Clinton County officials, PAI managing partner CVES has been negotiating the property and facilities formerly held by CommutAir at 518 Rugar St.
According to CV-TEC division director Dr. Barry Mack, utilizing facilities that previously housed an aircraft maintenance operation and their accompanying offices makes tremendous sense.
The design and location of these facilities lend themselves well to our new Airframe and Powerplant program, said Mack. In fact, the CommutAir facilities will ultimately provide us with well over 40,000 square feet of instructional space more than twice the amount afforded to us by our previous Alabama Avenue location at the PIA.
According to Mack, in addition to a significant increase in the amount of space, the CommutAir location will afford PAI partners ready access to numerous related technical classrooms, facilities, equipment and services located at CV-TECs nearby Plattsburgh campus. The anticipated access will also help reduce student bus transportation costs associated with the new location.
According to Mack another noteworthy PAI gain has come in the form of a completed memorandum of understanding between CV-TEC and Clinton Community College. During the month of August, PAI partners signed an MOU that assigned roles and responsibilities to respective institutions as they endeavor to serve North Country high school students, post-secondary A & P candidates seeking a career track option, and post-secondary A & P candidates seeking an associates degree in Aviation Technology. Both partners are eager to serve a wide range of constituents through their cutting edge program.
Questions pertaining to the PAI program may be addressed to McCartney at CV-TEC or to Peter Grosskopf at Clinton Community College as they pertain to the AAS and Career Certificate Programs to be offered by PAI partners.