SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The beleaguered state of Illinois checkbook has received a welcome, if small, deposit with the sale of surplus aircraft.

Gov. Bruce Rauner announced Tuesday that five aircraft sold this month for $2.5 million. The Republican says selling the aircraft also avoided an additional $1 million in inspections and repairs.

The sale comes after three previous attempts by the Department of Central Management Services to dispose of a Beechcraft twin-engine turboprop, a Sikorsky helicopter and three Cessna single-engine planes.

Rauner says officials consulted aviation experts and, with a new marketing plan, received multiple bids.

The Beechcraft was among planes that fly shuttle flights daily between Chicago and Springfield. The lighter airplanes are used for such purposes as wildlife surveys.

Rauner grounded all aircraft July 1 because of the budget crisis.


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