Students at the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies are flying higher this week.

On Friday, the Saskatoon school's aircraft maintenance engineering program celebrated its new Sikorsky S-76A helicopter maintenance trainer.

"[It] allows us to provide a greater hands-on experience to our students in a wide array of systems typical of modern helicopters," said SIIT president Riel Bellegarde. 

The recently-retired, $1.3-million helicopter comes with tablet-based electronic technical manuals that will help students troubleshoot maintenance issues with interactive graphics.

The maintenance trainer comes as a part of a deal that saw the Royal Canadian Air Force buy 28 Sikorsky CH-148 maritime helicopters and anti-surface warfare capability. The military helicopters should be ready by 2021.