Iowa State spent $290,000 to upgrade airplane that was sold - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa State spent $290,000 to upgrade airplane that was sold

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AMES, Iowa (AP) -- Iowa State University is defending its decision to spend $290,000 upgrading an airplane that it sold one year later.

The university disclosed Tuesday that it installed a new avionics system in its 1977 King Air 200 in January 2013.

University spokeswoman Megan Landolt said the school determined a year later that it would be more cost-effective to sell that plane and buy a newer one.

She says the sale price of $835,000 was "far higher" due to its avionics upgrades, saying the costs were recouped.

The university then bought a newer King Air for $2.875 million and spent $327,000 installing a new avionics system. It spent an additional $130,000 for high-speed internet and in-flight video entertainment systems.

The costs are under scrutiny amid an audit into President Steven Leath's flying.

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