Ontario-based medevac provider Ornge Air has donated a decommissioned Sikorsky S-76A helicopter to Centennial College's School of Transportation. Some 500 students in Centennial's Aviation Technician and Aviation Technology programmes will directly benefit from having the Sikorsky hull in the campus hangar, where they perform component and landing-gear inspections, wire bundle installations, and avionic systems installations and troubleshooting.
“We know the donation of this aircraft will give countless students the opportunity to engage with a helicopter that has a long and distinguished history,” says president and CEO of Ornge Andrew McCallum. “We are hoping that some of these students will aspire to work for Ornge in support of our mission to provide Ontario's patients with safe and timely care, transport and access to health services.”
The helicopter joins the college's expanded fleet of aircraft at the Centre for Aerospace and Aviation, the new home of Centennial's aviation maintenance programmes located at the former site of de Havilland of Canada. The $72-million campus repurposes the historic building with selective demolition and new construction to create 12,700 sqm of instruction space, including classrooms, labs and workshops, two aircraft hangars, a library and faculty offices.
“We're delighted to have this magnificent aircraft join our collection here at Downsview,” comments dean of the School of Transportation Alan McClelland. “The Sikorsky is a sophisticated machine with updated avionics technology that our students absolutely need to be familiar with before they venture out into the working world. It will be treasured as a teaching tool in our hangar.”
One quarter of Canada's aircraft maintenance engineers are aged 55 years or older and set to retire. There are already more job vacancies than there are graduates to fill them, according to industry statistics. Increasingly, the new Downsview Campus is becoming a learning destination for students from across the globe.
Ornge owns a fleet of aircraft and land ambulances operating out of 12 bases across Ontario, including eight Pilatus PC-12s and 11 Leonardo AW139s.