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AME students benefit from aircraft donation by Swanberg Air

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Loran Swanberg (second from left) received a small gift of appreciation from Northern Lights College in recognition of his family’s donation of a plane to the Aircraft Maintenance Engineering program. Rene Tremblay (Dean of Trades and Apprenticeship), Laurie Rancourt (President and CEO), and Hal Hobenshield (Program Chair, AME) made the presentation.

The new Jetstream 31 in the NLC Aerospace Hangar.

The new Jetstream 31 in the NLC Aerospace Hangar.

DAWSON CREEK – Aircraft Maintenance Engineering students at Northern Lights College will be the major beneficiaries of a generous donation by Swanberg Air (Landsman Properties Ltd).

In a special recognition ceremony on Friday morning in the Aerospace Hangar at the Dawson Creek Campus, NLC recognized and thanked Swanberg Air for donating a 1986 British Aerospace Jetstream 31 aircraft to the AME program. The aircraft is valued at $625,000.

Swanberg Air Inc. was founded in 2000 by Sylvan Swanberg, a former resident of Dawson Creek who worked in various aspects of the transportation industry in the Alberta and B.C. Peace Region for more than five decades. Sylvan died in April 2011, and the decision was made for Swanberg Air to cease operations in November 2011.

Loran Swanberg, Sylvan’s son, represented the family at Friday’s ceremony.

“My father strongly believed in continuous education, training, and practical knowledge as important aspects of the learning experience. With the donation of this Jetstream 31 aircraft, his belief in the importance of all aspects of the education experience will be honoured by “Paying it Forward” to students at Northern Lights College who will have the opportunity to learn from the first Jetstream that my father owned,” said Loran Swanberg.

The addition of the Jetstream brings the NLC fleet to 12 aircraft, including seven fixed wing and five roto. With dimensions of approximately 50 feet by 50 feet, it will be the largest plane in the fleet.

“Having access to a fixed-wing aircraft of this type will fill a void that has existed in the formal hands-on training we have been able to provide our students. Prior to this donation, we did not have a Commuter category aircraft, and this one meets those requirements. That will be a significant benefit for students in our 15-month Basic Training program,” said Hal Hobenshield, Trades department chair for the AME program.

The Jetstream was moved from the Dawson Creek Regional Airport on Wednesday to NLC’s Aerospace Hangar on the Dawson Creek Campus. Friday’s ceremony was followed by the annual program awards ceremony to celebrate the AME graduating class.

NLC offers two intakes each year for the Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Basic Training program, in September and February. For more information, check the website at