Swanberg shared his father's history as a pioneer in the transport industry in B.C. and Alberta during a career that spanned 50 years and saw Sylvan found multiple businesses, including Swanberg Air in 2000; the company ceased operations after Sylvan's passing in 2011.
Swanberg presented the keys to the aircraft to Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton, who noted that the value of the aircraft as a teaching tool far exceeded any dollar value that could be ascribed to the plane.
“This gift will enrich the training experience for our students for years to come,” said Hamilton. “On behalf of Okanagan College, I want to express our sincere gratitude to the Swanberg family for this support.”
The family has previously donated aircraft to three other post-secondary institutions in Canada, including Jetstream 31s to Red River College in Winnipeg, and Northern Lights College in Dawson Creek, and a 601 Challenger to SAIT Polytechnic in Calgary.
The Northern Lights connection was important to note, as the College's AME students train for 48 weeks at the College’s hangar in Vernon and then complete the final 14 weeks of the program at Northern Lights College.
“We hope that link resonates with the students,” adds Swanberg. “Our family is very excited about the legacy behind these aircraft and the connection between them."
"It is with great honour & pleasure that the Swanberg family is able to donate this aircraft in memory of Sylvan & Dorothy Swanberg. It is our hope that students will be able to learn and train on this aircraft."
He added: "I believe it is [our family's] hope that for years to come, many AME’s will cross paths and quite often they will be heard to say: 'I trained on a Swanberg Air Aircraft when I was in school, too.'”
Joining the Swanbergs and representatives from Okanagan College and the Okanagan College Foundation at the unveiling ceremony were current students and alumni of the AME program, instructors, and dignitaries including Vernon Mayor Akbal Mund who thanked the Swanbergs on behalf of the City of Vernon for supporting education in the Okanagan.
Read the full story in the press release.