Aviation firm gives Learjet to college

A Learjet will make its way today from Grand Junction to Rangely, but not by air.

The jet is being donated by West Star Aviation to Colorado Northwestern Community College in Rangely so students studying airframes and jet power plants can do so on a real aircraft.

The Learjet Model 35A “was a perfectly airworthy aircraft when it arrived in August 2009,” West Star General Manager Dave Krogman said. “It flew into Grand Junction under its own power.”

West Star used the craft for parts on a job it was completing for a foreign government. In that case, stripping a donated aircraft was far more efficient than buying individual parts, Krogman said.

Once the job was completed, West Star was left with the basic airframe, “and we thought it would be a good asset for the college,” Krogman said.

It’s difficult for students to learn about actual craft because of the expense of jet aircraft, said Larry McNutt, director of maintenance for West Star Aviation.

Having the airframe “will be a big asset for Colorado Northwestern Community College in allowing their students to learn and train in a real-world environment,” McNutt said.


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