By Nicole Gleaton & Meagan Chappell
On Saturday, February 15, 2020, crowds gathered, in front of the Wells Fargo directly across the street from our new AIM Norfolk campus on E Little Creek Road, awaiting the arrival of two planes being air lifted for delivery by helicopter. Both the Cessna and Sabreliner were donated to AIM Norfolk for our students to work on throughout the course of their program training. The highly anticipated move of donated aircraft entailed weeks of planning, scheduling, and setbacks due to inclement weather.
Just before noon, a small silhouette appeared in the distance, coming up over the back side of our AIM Norfolk campus. Erickson Air Crane, a specialty helicopter, lifted the Cessna from Norfolk International Airport to our AIM Norfolk campus in a span of 10 minutes. The Erickson Air Crane ascended over AIM Norfolk’s campus into position to lower the smaller of the two planes. The helicopter pilot stabilized his cargo and lowered it to the ground, kicking up dust and debris, while garnering cheers from the crowd. Local news stations were onsite to witness the spectacle, where they stood frozen in complete awe of the newsworthy footage they were capturing.
After the Cessna was unhooked the helicopter took off once more in the direction of Norfolk International Airport. The crowd dissipated some, having already seen a once in a lifetime airplane transport via helicopter. Others stayed, knowing the larger airplane was on its way. In less than 15 minutes, the Sabreliner was in position to touch down.
Once the plane was safely on the ground, our staff and their families were able to go over and get a closer view of the Sabreliner. Everyone present was exhilarated, as they had just witnessed an abnormal phenomenon, an unforgettable event. The move could not have happened without the coordination of the AIM Norfolk team, Norfolk International Airport, FairLifts Helicopter Services, City of Norfolk, and all involved from the Aviation Institute of Maintenance’s Corporate Home Office.
Checkout the local news coverage from the move here:
13 News Now– https://www.13newsnow.com/article/news/local/mycity/norfolk/two-aircraft-airlifted-from-norfolk-airport-to-aviation-institute-of-maintenance-campus/291-44e7e3f2-6fbc-4d1c-87e0-52f30d282407
About Aviation Institute of Maintenance:
Aviation Institute of Maintenance (AIM) is a network of aviation maintenance schools with campuses coast-to-coast in the United States and headquarters in Virginia Beach, Va. AIM students are trained to meet the increasing global demand of commercial, cargo, corporate and private aviation employers. AIM graduates are eligible to take the Federal Aviation Administration exams necessary to obtain their mechanic’s certificate with ratings in both Airframe and Powerplant. AIM’s campuses are in the following major metro areas: Atlanta, Charlotte, New York, Philadelphia, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., Kansas City, San Francisco Bay, Orlando and Norfolk. Visit AviationMaintenance.edu or call (888) FIX-JETS for more information.