Greater Tulsa Reporter
AVIATION EDUCATION: Representatives from Tulsa Tech and Tulsair Beechcraft gathered to celebrate the arrival of the 1968 Learjet 25, which was delivered to the Riverside Campus on Dec. 9.
Courtesy Tulsa Tech
Aviation students at Tulsa Tech have the opportunity to work on a wide variety of aircraft in an FAA-approved aviation environment as they study ground operations, the use of aircraft composite materials, and the maintenance of both reciprocating and turbine engines.
Thanks to a very generous donation from Tulsair Beechcraft, the Tulsa Tech Riverside Campus hangar is now home to a 1968 Learjet 25.
This remarkable aircraft was delivered on Dec. 9 after departing Tulsa International Airport, completing a final salute pass over the Jones-Riverside airport, then landing at the facility and taxiing to the Tulsa Tech hangar.
According to Tom Clark, chairman of Tulsair Beechcraft, the donation was an opportunity to keep the aircraft in America and support local Tulsa aviation education.
“The airplane had reached the end of its useful life in the United States from an operational standpoint,” Clark says. “Rather than sell it into another country, we chose to donate it to support local aviation technician education programs, and Tulsa Tech was a great fit.”
Located at Tulsa International Airport and Millington Municipal Airport in Tennessee, Tulsair Beechcraft offers a complete line of aircraft support services including fuel and line service, heavy airframe and engine maintenance, advanced avionics installation and repair, aircraft sales and leasing, and worldwide Beechcraft parts sales.
The donated Learjet 25 is an American 10-seat, twin-engine, high-speed business jet aircraft introduced by Learjet in late 1967. The small business jet offered an ideal high speed platform for six-to-eight passengers, with a high rate of climb, enabling it to pass congested flight levels quickly. With typical cruising altitudes between 39,000 and 43,000 feet, the aircraft is able to fly over most weather systems and congested airspace. The Lear-25, provided by Tulsair, tail number N473TC, is in excellent condition and makes it difficult to believe this pristine business jet was manufactured nearly 50 years ago.
Sheryl Oxley, Tulsa Tech’s Aviation Program coordinator, says that despite the age of the aircraft, all of the flight systems are up to date and still relevant to aviation education curriculum.
“This is an impeccable example of a Lear 25,” says Oxley, “which will allow students to experience both the interior and the exterior of this aircraft, identical to what they will find in the industry. Many of these fine planes are still out there flying, and this particular aircraft has been maintained at a very high level. We are very grateful and extremely fortunate to receive this donation from Tulsair.”
J.J. Lester, president of Tulsair Beechcraft, says the high-performance business jet has been based in the Tulsa area for the past 30 years.
“We originally purchased the aircraft in the 1980s for one of our customers,” Lester says. “Since then, we have either owned or operated the plane and performed all of the maintenance and avionics work on the plane.”
With this substantial donation, Tulsair Beechcraft has demonstrated not only their commitment to local aviation education but also their commitment to the community of Tulsa.
“Tulsair is heavily invested in the aircraft maintenance and avionics fields,” says Lester. “It is important to encourage and train our young people for the career path opportunities available in aviation. It’s good for our business to have a larger, more qualified labor pool, and more importantly, it’s good for Tulsa.”
If you’re currently looking for exciting classes for high school and adult students, quality business and industry training, or are climbing toward a new career, Tulsa Tech invites you to visit today. For more information, please call 918-828-5200 or visit us online at tulsatech.edu.