Thursday, June 27, 2013

Van Nuys aircraft mechanics school to receive $25,000 donation

Students check out landing gear recently at the aviation mechanics schools operated by the Los Angeles Unified School District at Van Nuys Airport. The vocational program was saved from closure in May. 

Recently spared from closure, the popular aircraft mechanics school at Van Nuys Airport will receive a $25,000 donation this weekend to establish a scholarship fund for low-income students.

The University of North Dakota Aerospace Foundation will present the donation during ceremonies Saturday evening at Clay Lacy Aviation, which is near the North Valley Occupational Center-Aviation Center.

North Dakota "is home to one of the nation's top collegiate flight training programs and we're honored to show our support for one of the nation's top aircraft mechanics schools," said Larry Martin, board chairman of the foundation.

The aviation center off Hayvenhurst Avenue was saved from closure or relocation to smaller facilities earlier this year when it received a $100,000 private donation and the Los Angeles Unified School District and Los Angeles World Airports, the operator of Van Nuys, agreed to a $1-a-year lease.

During the mayoral race, Mayor-elect Eric Garcetti called for measures to keep the highly regarded school from shutting down or being moved to smaller facilities elsewhere.

The program, which opened in 1971, offers a two-year program that prepares students for certification by the Federal Aviation Administration as airframe and power plant mechanics. About 100 people attend classes per semester.

Saturday night's event also will honor Clay Lacy, a legendary aviation figure and University of North Dakota board member.