Detroit Pistons donate plane to Northland Aerospace
Pistons_Plane_Donation_Podcast.mp3 The Thief River Falls Airport had a brush with fame today as a plane that escorted the Detroit Pistons NBA team to the 2004 NBA Championship arrived after its last flight from Detroit Metro Airport. The Pistons donated the DC-9 aircraft, called Roundball One, to the Northland Community & Technical College Foundation to support Northland’s aerospace programs. The DC-9 aircraft served as the Pistons’ team plane from 1998-2010.
Onboard the plane, Northland’s Director of Aviation Programs Biggi Haraldsson said the plane will be kept at Northland’s hangar.
Haraldsson said the the DC-9 is widely used by FedEx and other cargo carriers. Students in Northland’s Aviation Maintenance program will diassemble and reassemble portions of the plane in their lab classes.
Northland president Dr. Anne Temte thanked the Pistons organization for the donation. She said having the aircraft in Northland’s hangar will allow students to get important hands-on experience.
Northland Aerospace includes the aviation maintenance technology and the unmanned aerial systems (UAS) maintenance training programs. The AMT program is a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) part 147 approved program. The UAS maintenance training program is the first of its kind in the nation.