Motor glider sport aircraft donated to Penn College

Published 08.12.2020

Corporate Relations
Engineering Technologies

A high-performance motor glider aircraft manufactured by Phoenix Air has been donated to Pennsylvania College of Technology for instructional purposes.

Donors Farhad and Debi Saba gifted the Phoenix Air U-15, a single-engine, piston-powered aircraft that will be used by faculty and students in the college’s aviation maintenance program.

Farhad and Debi Saba have donated a Phoenix Air U-15 single-engine, piston-powered motor glider for use by faculty and students in Penn College’s aviation program.Manufactured in the Czech Republic since 2010, more than 60 U-15 aircraft remain fully serviceable throughout the world. Most are utilized for personal sport flying by private individuals and soaring clubs.

The donors became aware of Penn College aviation program through faculty member Michael R. Robison, a competitive sailplane pilot. The Phoenix U-15 becomes the lone glider in the college’s fleet of instructional aircraft.

“The Phoenix U-15 enhances our light sport aircraft curriculum, while the popular Rotax engine is a valuable addition to our reciprocating engine program,” said Brett A. Reasner, assistant dean of transportation technologies. “The aircraft is equipped with Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B), part of the NextGen Air Transportation System to aid in air traffic control. As the only glider in our fleet of instructional aircraft, students will be able to test and use the advanced autopilot and GPS navigation systems.”

The Phoenix U-15 becomes the lone glider in the college’s fleet of instructional aircraft.“We are most grateful for the Sabas’ investment in applied technology education,” said Loni N. Kline, vice president for college relations. “Their thoughtful gift provides students with varied equipment and technology to refine their skills to confidently enter the workforce of tomorrow.”

Farhad Saba, a commercial airplane and glider pilot, is owner and founder of The Saba Group, a real estate development company based in Charles County, Maryland. Born in Tehran, Iran, he moved to England in 1978 at the age of 16. He graduated with a master's degree in civil and structural engineering from City, University of London. He immigrated to the United States in 1985.

Debi Saba, a Licensed Professional Counselor for Fairfax County, Virginia, Crisis Care Program, was born in Texas. They have been married since 1994 and have two children, ages 23 and 21.

Aviation students will get hands-on experience with the aircraft’s advanced autopilot and GPS navigation systems.“From a very early age, and during our early morning walks in the mountainous landscape of my birthplace, my grandfather always told me, ‘What one gives away, one keeps forever!’” Farhad Saba said. “This gift allows many to realize their dreams, and allows me to keep my dreams of soaring over my birthplace in perpetuity.”

Penn College offers a Bachelor of Science in aviation maintenance technology, an Associate of Applied Science in aviation technology and a certificate in aviation maintenance technician. Aviation instruction is offered at the college’s Lumley Aviation Center near the Williamsport Regional Airport in Montoursville.

College Relations at Penn College oversees all fundraising activities and includes the Penn College Foundation, Alumni Relations and Career Services. For more about giving to Penn College, call 866-GIVE-2-PC.

For more about the college, a special mission affiliate of Penn State and a national leader in applied technology education, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.