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ohio department of transportation internet news release


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 20,  1999
OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS

ODOT Donates Helicopter to Columbus State Community College

Columbus Gordon Proctor, director of the Ohio Department of Transportation announced today that ODOT will donate a helicopter to the Aircraft Maintenance Program at Columbus State Community College to be used by students for maintenance training. The craft sustained damage too costly to repair last year.

"We are excited to support the Aircraft Maintenance Program at Columbus State. While it is unfortunate for ODOT to lose the vehicle, this program is certainly a great way to turn a loss into a gain," Proctor said.

The helicopter, a Hughes 1976 model 396, will be transported to the Columbus State facility at Bolton Field on Wednesday, July 21 at 10 a.m. After signing an agreement and release of liability, the school will receive the helicopter at no cost.

"There is great demand around the nation for the kind of aviation maintenance training that the donation of this helicopter will help make possible. Were very pleased that ODOT thought of us first," said Columbus State President Val Moeller.

Moeller said Columbus State is the only college in Central Ohio that offers FAA-certified Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic training, which includes the installation of engines into aircraft.

"The vehicle was on a mission in northern Ohio for the Division of Wildlife when a tornado hit the area," ODOT Aviation Administrator Rudy Rudolph explained. "The wind damage it sustained was deemed impractical to fix, so donating the vehicle for a good cause was the best option."

ODOTs Office of Aviation is responsible for registering Ohio aircraft and inspecting and certifying about 156 Ohio airports. The office also facilitates federal grants to these airports and awards state money to assist local airports. Overall, the state has 1,214 landing facilities that include 165 public airports and 23 public heliports. Ohio also has the most lighted, paved airports per square mile in the nation, having one airport every 207 miles or averaging one airport every 20 miles.