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Source: Andrew Smith, 785-826-2682,

Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2009


SALINA -- The fleet of learning aircraft at Kansas State University at Salina continues to grow with the gift of a pressurized twin-engine Cessna 421B.

The piston-powered plane was a gift from K-State supporters Kenneth and Tamara Knight, Lyons, who are involved in the agricultural industry.

The airplane is used primarily in K-State at Salina's aviation maintenance program as part of the degree track for airframe and powerplant mechanics. The cabin-class, twin aircraft allows students to learn by pairing practical elements with concepts taught in class.

"This donation allows our students to work directly on an aircraft which takes learning to a higher level," said Andrew Smith, assistant professor of aviation. "For the students, it is a true hands-on experience with a flying airplane, one that takes and needs constant care and maintenance."

K-State at Salina has a fleet of 50 learning aircraft. Students earn FAA certification needed to work on aircraft, including aircraft repair, installation and modification, as well as maintenance of an airplane's airframe and powerplant. Both associate and bachelor's degree options are available, with the advanced study in the bachelor's degree aviation maintenance program especially suited for students considering a career in aviation management.

Along with degree programs in aircraft maintenance, K-State at Salina also offers degrees in professional pilot education, avionics, technology management and engineering technology. An aviation safety minor also is offered.