Arkansas Northeastern Receives A Big Jet Engine

BLYTHEVILLE (KAIT) Arkansas Northeastern College in Blytheville is looking ahead when it comes to working with local industry.

A new aircraft maintenance company that opened up last fall at the old air base will need trained technicians.

Today the first tool of the college's new aviation program rolled through the door...but just barely.

Dr. Robert Myers, President  ANC "This wonderful engine you see behind me a 747 engine that was donated by the AAR corporation is the first piece of equipment that we will be assembling here for our program."

Kate Leal, Aviation Coordinator, "It's a really wonderful addition, not many schools have this privilege."

With a flourish of ice on a snowy day, Arkansas Northeastern College began setting up its new aviation maintenance program.

Dr. Myers, "Yes we're just at the very beginning, we've acquired this new building and a wonderful place for training in this new discipline."

In the beginning there were a few hurdles to over come, first you have to get the 14 thousand pound engine off the truck.

To lift a really big engine you gotta have a really big forklift and those guys down the road at SRT just happened to have one sitting around."

Once it was off the truck there were a few moments devoted to measuring to make sure the 9 foot plus engine would fit in a 10 foot door.

The engine will be used to teach students about turbines.

Leal "When we get to the turbine section of the a & p program and what we'll do we'll do borescope on it, we'll show components, how to remove and replace components. It's all part of the requirements."

Right now there are two instructors, Kate Leal and Sam Macree with more to come.

With the skills the students will get here they will be able to quickly move into the workforce at such places as ART located at the old air base.

Leal, "Regarding what ART does, they do maintenance on aircraft so when they leave here they will have a very good idea of how a jet engine is put together."

The engine looked big on the truck, But you ought to stand in front of it. This things huge. It weighs 14 thousand pounds, is 22 feet long and almost 10 foot tall.

With the engine all tucked in where it probably will remain. Dr. Myers told me when the school should begin offering classes. Once they receive FAA approval.

"Hopefully as early as this Fall or as late as the Spring of 2010."