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RIVERSIDE (July 30, 2013)--Two hangars and a 1954 twin-engine Piper Apache airplane have been donated to California Baptist University's aviation science program just weeks before for the launch of its inaugural class.

The gifts were presented by George and Helene Galik who first became interested in CBU's aviation science department after seeing its Boeing 727 aircraft parked just a short distance from the couple's hangars at the Riverside Municipal Airport. The jet aircraft, donated in January by FedEx Express, led George Galik to research how he could to turn over the contents of his two hangars to CBU's budding aviation science program.

"It is another example of how the 727 has opened doors for (the program) and the university," said Dr. Daniel Prather, professor of aviation science and chair of the aviation science program.

Prather said the donation of the hangars and the Piper Apache airplane provides the program with the opportunity to expand its academics in the future.

 "That hanger, twin-engine aircraft and the tools in the hanger, we see as the beginning foundation of developing an aircraft maintenance program," Prather said. "It is great that it was donated to us, because now we have assets that we didn't have otherwise and would have had to go out and buy. It has definitely given us a boost."

The possible future program would allow students to obtain an airframe and powerplant (A&P) certificate that opens doors for them to work on planes and aircraft engines found at airports.

The Department is expecting approximately 20 students  as aviation science majors this fall. All flight training will be conducted by CBU instructors, initially in Cirrus SR20 aircraft. Students will be able to obtain a private pilot certificate by completing the private pilot ground course and private pilot lab course.  Aviation Flight majors will also earn their instrument rating, commercial pilot certificate, multi-engine rating, and certified flight instructor certificate.

Currently, the program's Boeing 727 aircraft is undergoing a makeover that includes a paint job and CBU logos. The plane's design was created by Taylor Griner, a CBU graphic design student and winner of the plane's redesign competition held last spring.

Prather said the project is set to be finished by mid-August, just in time for students to begin classes Sept. 3.