Flying High Outside the Classroom

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A college in central Pennsylvania is welcoming a donation that promises to be a huge upgrade for its aviation students.

It's a bird. No it's a plane, but it's not just any plane.  It's a 150,000 pound donation to the aviation department at Penn College near Williamsport.

FedEx used the Boeing 727 for more than 30 years. Its last flight ended at the Williamsport Regional Airport in Montoursville, where it will stay.

"We're delighted to have the aircraft here and have it retire at Penn College.  It's a wonderful program here and we're excited to be able to be part of this," said David Sutton of FedEx.

Students in Penn College's aviation department say they can now take their lessons outside the classroom.

"With this we can have a fully functioning engine, avionics, hydraulics. We can see what they're supposed to do, not just what we're told they're supposed to do," said student Michael Reser.

Students will be able to work on all sections of the plane, including inside the cockpit.  Students said they are excited because all 100 of them in the aviation department will be able to work on the plane at the same time.

"It's a lot bigger than I thought it would be. It's gonna be a great addition to the school. I'm ready to start tearing things apart and seeing the inside of it," said student Ryan Enders.

Students said that having this jet airliner to work on is much better than what they have been using.

"The ones we have now have been grounded for a few years, so things are broken and we can't get replacement parts," said Reser.

Students hope that working on...and learning on the Boeing 727 will help them land jobs in the future.

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