A major donation from the Canadian Coast Guard to NSCC will help Aviation Institute students take their learning to new heights.
The centre recently secured one of ten surplus MBB BO 105 helicopters from the federal government. The news was announced in May by Darren Fisher, Member of Parliament for Dartmouth-Cole Harbour, during an event at the Aviation Institute.
“Students from Nova Scotia Community College will benefit from the Government of Canada’s donation,” he said. “There is nothing like being able to provide students with the opportunity to grow and develop their skills by learning on real Coast Guard assets.”
The donation is welcome news to NSCC Aviation Institute Academic Chair Abid Ahmad.
“It’s challenging to continuously acquire more equipment and training aids within our financial means, especially a totally functional aircraft, so this is great for NSCC, for the institute, and particularly for our students,” he says.
The Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm BO 105, developed in Germany and introduced into service in 1970, was the first light, twin-engine helicopter in the world, and the first rotorcraft that could perform aerobatic manoeuvers. It features a hingeless rotor system, at that time a pioneering innovation.
The first MBB BO 105 helicopter was purchased by the Canadian Coast Guard in April 1985.
NSCC students from all three Aircraft Maintenance Engineering (AME) programs – structures, avionics and mechanical – will benefit from the gift, valued at $368,000. The institute is the only AME training school in the Maritimes.
Nearly 140 students enrolled in its programs will utilize the chopper for courses focused on turbines, controls and rigging, navigation, electrical systems, wiring and tooling applications and others.
“The addition of the MBB BO 105 to our aviation training aids will greatly enhance the hands-on training at the NSCC Aviation Institute,” says NSCC President Don Bureaux.
“The helicopter will be utilized for teaching and learning on an expeditious basis, with the goal of ensuring maximum benefit to our students."
While it will spend the bulk of its time in the hangar, the helicopter can also be taken into the compound and used for engine demos, allowing students to troubleshoot issues.
“It’s really exciting. This is a very valuable donation that will be maintained over the long term,” says Abid. “Students who come to the AI are passionate about aviation and working in the industry, and they are really glad to get this news. From a student perspective, from a faculty and staff perspective, it’s very positive. It infuses new energy and helps in terms of looking to the future.”