'Olympus' borrows SUSLA jet for filming - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

'Olympus' borrows SUSLA jet for filming


The movie 'Olympus Has Fallen' has moved from the White House to the tarmac at the Shreveport Downtown Airport.

The movie's producers are borrowing a gutted Boeing 727 cargo aircraft used by Southern University at Shreveport for their Aerospace Engineering program to film cockpit scenes for the movie.

"We use it for training students on the systems of the aircraft," explains Aerospace Instructor Tim Banks. It was donated to SUSLA by FedEx in 2008 for education purposes. Now, it's surrounded by movie crews, cameras and a giant green screen.

Banks says he hasn't spotted any of the movie's stars, which include Gerard Butler, Dylan McDermott and Aaron Eckhart, and doesn't expect to. Filming for the cockpit scenes is expected to take just one day. Still, Banks says it's exciting to see the filming in action, and it's good to get news out about the program he instructs at SUSLA.

The 2-year-program that certifies aircraft technicians that allows the students to get licensed through the FAA and go to work for airlines, aircraft manufacturers, and military contractors.

It's a lucrative career, Banks says, that can pay anywhere from $16.50-17.50/hr locally to $18-22/hr with major airlines like Continental in Houston.

While the training does require a strong foundation of science and technology, engineering and math, Banks says the program is geared toward people with no aerospace experience and training whatsoever. "We take them from the ground and build them up from there." That includes fresh out of high school, and people transitioning from other careers.

Banks expects to have his Boeing back by Thursday, so that he can continue to train future aircraft technicians.

Olympus is set for release in 2014.

Copyright 2012 KSLA. All rights reserved.


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