SOWELA’s Aviation Maintenance Program adds another plane

SOWELA’s Aviation Maintenance Program adds another plane

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) -SOWELA has added another plane to its Aviation Maintenance Program to continue allowing students a hands-on learning experience.

SOWELA administrators say adding a CESSNA 550 gives student the opportunity to work on a newer airplane.

"We were looking for something that's newer, it's got more modern avionics and electronics," says instructor Brad Hensley. "It's upgraded quite a lot even though it's not a new airplane and it's something that we can fit into our budget as well."

William Mayo, Dean of School of Transportation and Applied Technology, says SOWELA started working on bringing the plane to SOWELA in October of 2019.

"This program is important because we train the people who take care of the airplanes," Mayo says. "They're the ones who make sure the plans are flight-ready. They repair and maintain. We're training aviation-maintainers. They're the mechanics. They're very important to the plane.

The CESSNA 550 landed at Chennault International Airport on Wednesday.SOWELA now has twelve planes for students to practice maintenance.

"They will learn everything from electricty to turning a wrench and repairing the engines," Mayo said. "From electronics to avionics, you name it they're going to learn it."

The Aviation Maintenance Program takes about two-and-a-half years for a student to complete.

SOWELA hopes to purchase another two to three planes in the next five months.

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