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Powering the Future: American Donates Aircraft Engine to Aviation Institute of Maintenance in Chicago

FORT WORTH, Texas — Though the last American Airlines McDonnell Douglas MD-80 took its final flight in 2019, a vital part of the historic aircraft will continue powering the future of aviation maintenance. Today, the airline donated a Pratt & Whitney JT8D engine to the Aviation Institute of Maintenance (AIM) during the Aviation Technician Education Council annual conference in Chicago. The engine will be used by students for hands-on training at the school’s Chicago campus pursuing their aviation maintenance technician (AMT) certification.

"American is honored to donate this important piece of aviation technology to students at AIM,” said Evie Garces, American’s Vice President of Line Maintenance. “As a former AMT, I know first-hand how important it is to have access to equipment like this as you’re learning new skills. The MD-80 powered American’s future when it took its first revenue flight in 1983, and this engine will help power students’ futures as they work toward their certifications and career aspirations for years to come.”

The engine donation is part of our ongoing partnership with AIM that provides students with ongoing engagement with American’s team of aviation maintenance professionals and access to American’s maintenance facilities, as well as guarantees top candidates from AIM’s Chicago campus interviews with American.

“We are excited to enhance our partnership with American Airlines in 2023, and receiving this impressive aircraft engine will allow us to provide more resources and experience to our student body in Chicago,” said Dr. Joel English, Executive Vice President of AIM. “Hands-on training on a range of airframes and powerplants is essential for the AIM graduate to become prepared to join the workforce after graduation. American sees the value of investing in our diverse student population, and this donation will help us prepare our current students to become tomorrow’s American Airlines technicians.”

Aviation maintenance professionals from American’s Chicago Technical Operations team are also mentoring a five-student team for the upcoming Aerospace Maintenance Competition in Atlanta April 18–20. The competition, held in conjunction with Aviation Week’s MRO Americas, brings together teams from schools, airlines, military, general aviation, repair and maintenance organizations and space to compete against each other in real-life maintenance scenarios.

About American Airlines Group
To Care for People on Life’s Journey®. Shares of American Airlines Group Inc. trade on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol AAL and the company’s stock is included in the S&P 500. Learn more about what’s happening at American by visiting and connect with American on Twitter @AmericanAir and at


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 demand of commercial, cargo, corporate and private aviation employers. AIM graduates have the opportunity to obtain certifications with the Federal Aviation Administration, American Welding Society, Environmental Protection Agency and OSHA. AIM’s campuses are near the following major metro areas: Atlanta, Chicago, Charlotte, Newark/New York, Philadelphia, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., Kansas City, San Francisco Bay, Orlando, and Norfolk. AIM is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC). To learn more, visit or like them on Facebook at

By The Numbers: The Donated Pratt & Whitney JT8D Engine

  • Manufactured in 1998
  • 21,000 lbs. max thrust
  • In service for 18 years and nine months
  • 38,856 flying hours – the equivalent of 786 trips around the world
  • 19,677 takeoffs, or about 1,049 flights per year

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American and AIM leaders join students from the AIM Aerospace Maintenance Competition team with the donated Pratt & Whitney JT8D engine.

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The Pratt & Whitney JT8D engine came from a McDonnell Douglas MD-80.

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