EOCC Is Expanding its Wing in Aviation

By: Erica Proffer
By: Erica Proffer

The Enterprise Ozark Community College received an aero-commander plane to train student mechanics. Everyone at the college is really excited because they will be one of two the college is getting to help train students in plane maintenance.

The Enterprise Ozark Community College is expanding its facilities with $7.8 million building. However, that's not the only addition to the school. The college now has a new airplane that's calling EOCC home.

Fifty-year-old aircraft cost the college about $35,000. There is one of two planes EOCC bought for training students on hydraulic systems.

EOCC Director of Technical Education Tom Kirk said, "We use this type of aircraft already in our training. We have three of them. A couple of those are just worn completely out, and we will either be replacing one of those with this one, using this one along side of it, so it's very important."

The plane came to the campus from Anchorage, Alaska where until now it hadn't taken off ground in eight years. The flight to the EOCC is its last.

Even though it's still capable of soaring into the air, the aircraft is not certified for flying. What's important about this aircraft is that it gives students an entire plane to work on.

“It's important, in my mind, for a student to work on a complete aircraft rather than to have components for them to try to work on a component and transfer that training and that experience to a whole aircraft. It's sort of a different transformation," said Kirk.

"Working on these new aircrafts, more complete aircrafts, I feel for the entire school it produces a better mechanic when you have a better example to work with," Jason Schiavone, an EOCC student.

The plane is expected to go into the hanger later this week for students to start training. The EOCC is expecting to get their second full plane in two to three weeks.

The college is hoping that with these new planes combined with the new building next year. They will double their enrollment.


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