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SOWELA Aviation Program receives anonymous donation

Published: Jul. 6, 2021 at 10:17 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - After receiving an anonymous donation of $635,000, SOWELA’s Aviation Maintenance Technology Program was determined to put that money to good use.

“This benefits the program because this allows the students to work with newer technology, so it benefits our students because our students are the ones we are training to be AMP mechanics,” said Dr. William Mayo, Dean of the School of Transportation and Applied Technology. “They’re maintainers, ones you don’t see. They’re the ones that keep the plane in the air.”

Dr. Mayo said that by presenting them with these new aircraft, they’re able to go out and work on a variety of different planes.

“One thing we tell our students is you’re the most important person in this industry,” Dr. Mayo said. “You’re more important than doctors because if this plane is not operational and not working correctly, you can’t pull over to a cloud and say everybody step off, another airbus is gonna come along and pick you up because we’re having problems.”

The Cessna Citation is just one of the four planes gifted to SOWELA’s aviation program to help provide a more robust education to their students. The other planes include a Cessna 337, a Cessna Skycatcher, and a Piper Arrow.

Erica Coles, an Aviation Maintenance Technology Student, said as far as her career is concerned, working on a variety of planes will give her more confidence for her future.

“It gives me more confidence going into the workplace because these are more equipped for what we’re going to be doing or what I want to be doing when I get into the workplace,” Coles said.

Students who have graduated from SOWELA’s Aviation Program have now had experience working on planes dating back to the Wright Brothers to the newest equipment that’s been pushed out.

Students interested in the program can click here.

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