Grant helps Charlotte Tech get a plane

September 19, 2022


STAFF WRITER - Charlotte Sun

Grant helps Charlotte Tech get a plane image

Grant helps Charlotte Tech get a plane

Aviation maintenance students will learn from used ‘78 Beechcraft

PUNTA GORDA — Students enrolled in Charlotte Technical College’s Aviation Airframe Mechanics program now are able to practice their learned skills on a working plane.

Thanks to a Florida Job Growth Fund grant, the school was able to purchase a 1978 Beechcraft C23 Sundowner, said Amanda Swartz, the program’s aviation maintenance specialist.

“We got a good deal on it,” she said of the purchase price of $68,000.

The plane “belonged to one of our students,” she said.

The school had been searching for a flyable plane to purchase, when the student offered to sell the Beechcraft that, conveniently, was located at the Punta Gorda Airport where the aviation program is also located, said Swartz.

Otherwise, the school would have had to search for a plane located at another airport and that would probably have cost more and incurred a transport fee.

She said around the same time as the purchase agreement, Draken International donated parts.

Two sets of wings from a T-28 Trojan made of sheet metal, a fuselage from an A-4 Skyhawk fighter jet, and a J65

turbojet engine were the parts that Draken gave to the school, Swartz said.

She said the school has received donations from other businesses as well.

Duplicate parts allow multiple groups of students to be instructed at one time, Swartz explained.

She said CTC will be applying for its Powerplant Mechanics certification, which would complete the two parts of the school’s aviation program.