– While some students get a new backpack for school, those in the Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Technician program at College of the North Atlantic (CNA) in Gander recently bagged a two-tonne helicopter.
CNA’s newest addition to its training program is the Airbus BO105, a helicopter that was donated by the Canadian Coast Guard.
Bob Dwyer, CNA’s Campus Director (Aviation) in Gander, explains that when the federal government bought a new fleet of helicopters in 2016, it resulted in a surplus of 10 Airbus BO105.
“(They decided) to donate them to aviation schools across Canada with the help of the National Training Association,” he said, noting that aviation schools from British Columbia to Newfoundland received one aircraft each.
It is a welcomed addition to the campus’s current fleet of two helicopters and six airplanes. Dwyer says it gives a huge boost to the Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Technician program because it features systems that were not available on the other college aircraft.
Conceived as a light twin-engine turbine, two-tonne class, multi-purpose helicopter, the BO105 has cutting-edge technologies and materials and is equipped with instrument flight capability. It is a complete and operable craft, but it isn’t airworthy. Dwyer notes that the helicopter came with some ground support equipment, maintenance manuals and spare parts, which proved to be valuable learning tools for students from the moment it arrived.
“The BO105 is still appreciated around the world for its versatility, reliability and quality, which makes it an amazing addition to our fleet; helping our students gain training on the most innovative light twin-engine helicopter on the market,” said Dwyer.
This particular aircraft could accommodate up to four passengers and was primarily operated by the Canadian Coast Guard, mostly in British Columbia, for approximately 30 years. It is currently valued at $400,000, and when it was new, it would have been worth a little more than $2 million.
“Having access to aircrafts like the Airbus BO105 helps equip students at CNA with practical work experience on real-world aircraft, making them acquainted with the industry standards. This aircraft is an asset to us offering a multitude of projects to work on, which makes it easy for students to understand a lot of the technology (instrument flight system on board operating procedures, operating controls) and materials used in aircrafts.”
For more information about CNA’s aviation programs, visit www.cna.nl.ca
Public Relations Specialist
College of the North Atlantic