Now a flying school in Arizona does American School of Aviation act

Hi Guys

Thank you for putting up your experience. I am of the opinion that most of the flying schools are scams and an awareness should be created among interested individuals. I am in a similar predicament as you guys. I joined a flying school in Arizona in June and had to withdraw from the school in November as the training was deficient. In spite of having a signed contract I haven’t received the balance back.i. e$23000 which I was to receive on 1 Jan 2009. The school I was training in ain’t bankrupt as yet.

However I am determined to get my deposit back. I would really appreciate if somebody could give me inputs as to how to go about it….


We may have made our mistakes along the way, but we are also humans with a limited capacity… and ASA was a business!


At least we do not deserve to be stoned all the way. Our main goal was the quality of training, we may have made our mistakes along the way, but we are also humans with a limited capacity… and ASA was a business, a successful business for 6 years in a row. but if the US and countries governments still can’t solve the fuel problems, why did people think we can? Consider this, Six months ago, we went to all the students saying you have to pay an additional $6,000 to $8,000 more for your training, what would have been the response? i personally went to UAE, China to get more profitable business so your families does not have to come up with the additional funds.

I am surprised, that Sasha Puri, Vikram Pawar, Suraj Chopra and Ameya Kameth did not mention to any one, that they paid their tuition in Gurgaon and that ASA in California never got a penny out of it?!! Specially that 3 of them already graduated, now was ASA out to Scam student? How about each one who paid the $2,000 deposit in Gurgaon? And the US never got a penny of it, but all of you got the credit on your account?

Now every one is going after the management, fine, put your self in Prince’s shoes and he admits he is an AW!!

On New Year’s Day, Juana opens up the school and is feeding the fish in the tank; guess what she found in there?

On a weekend evening, a drunken student pulls the fire alarm (Accidently!!) who had to leave the house to baby sit the reset of the students?

Students playing cricket in the parking lot, using the school’s furniture as goals..
For God Sake, we had to teach students to take a shower before showing up for class!!

Add to that, dealing with the FAA, Mechanics, India, lawyers, accountants, airport management for every little thing that students do!!

Parents, how do I tell a father, that your son is drinking every night and I have an arrest warrant for him? How do I tell your parents, your son is not showing up for lessons because the schedule is too early?! How do we tell them, your son is too busy with the bank teller and does not have time to study?!! Etc…

Here is what happened,
April last year 2007, Gurgaon was shut down costing a lot of money
July, was the last KFA interview
November, KFA staff came to visit to expand the relationship, instead, students complained about the housing and God knows what else, so they did not give a damn and cancelled the tie up!!
Still in November, 17 Students panicked and left the school creating more negative publicity.

Here is a quick lesson in business, if your current customers are pushing your new customers away for whatever reason, you run out of money and eventually your business runs out!!

ASA lost the market in India, even though, over 200 students graduated form there, all of the sudden, every one forgot that fact!!
November, I go to UAE to get some business, I got one student
March I got to China to get some business, it takes time
April I go to Egypt to get some business, we got 3 .

All of that and the FAA is on our tail to shut us down, in 2007, we had 109 inspections, and my question to them, if we were so bad, why did not you shut us down?!! And if we were not so bad, why did you inspect us 109 times?
I still do not have an answer to that, the FAA alone, costed 20% of Prince’s work week just to entertain them!! Why is it, that none of the students asked them that question?

I am sorry the management had to be strict as we did not have time to baby sit adults who were suppose to be in the air lines in a matter of months, I hope your future captains will make sure to tuck you in your seat before you fly!! Our main goal was to make you a pilot because we truly believed that one day thought out your career, the only thing that will save your life is your training, and that was our priority number 1.

They took our airplanes, cars and our house is about to be taken, but no one can take this from us
Our safety record is 100%, 98% of our graduates are successfully employed and satisfied with the training.

Reny Kozman

Solo Flight School providing free pilot training to stranded Indian student

Aneesh Mullacheri traveled halfway around the world only to watch his dream of becoming an American commercial pilot became a nightmare. Solo Flight School in Lakeport is helping him get back in the air with free private pilot training. (Tiffany Revelle)
Aneesh Mullacheri traveled halfway around the world only to watch his dream of becoming an American commercial pilot became a nightmare. Solo Flight School in Lakeport is helping him get back in the air with free private pilot training. (Tiffany Revelle)

By Tiffany Revelle —

LAKE COUNTY, CA – To call Aneesh Mullacheri determined is an understatement. He traveled halfway around the world only to watch his dream of becoming an American commercial pilot became a nightmare. But he hasn’t given up.

A six-month time limit on his visa is ticking while he eats and sleeps less than 100 yards from the small aircraft he will fly in Santa Rosa this weekend for the last leg of his private pilot licensing exam. His flight school American School of Aviation in Atwater, CA folded in July, taking the $40,000 he’d paid upfront and leaving him stranded. Solo Flight School in Lakeport is helping him get back in the air with free private pilot training.

“I know something good is going to happen,” Mullacheri said, a sparkle in his brown eyes.

In the same breath, Mullacheri acknowledged that flying days are over if he has to go back to India when his visa expires in February. He landed in San Francisco on his 18th birthday, ready to start commercial pilot training at the American School of Aviation in Atwater.

Mullacheri had $400 to his name and nowhere to live when the school declared bankruptcy. He called home for help – but not to his family.

“I didn’t want to give my grandfather another heart attack,” Mullacheri said.

Solo Flight School Co-owner Nancy Brier and her family took Mullacheri under their collective wing in October when they learned of his plight. The family’s already thin budget can only bear the cost of his private pilot license training, which is the first step to a commercial pilot license, which in turn is a stepping-stone to becoming a test pilot and ultimately an astronaut.

“My goal would be to at least help him get his commercial license,” Brier said.

She said the money is coming out of her family’s personal account, on top of providing transportation, living quarters and personal support. The family felt compelled, she said, not just by his circumstances, but also by his spirit.

Mullacheri said he felt responsible for his grandfather’s first heart attack during his eight-month struggle to get his visa and scrape together enough money for the flight school. His grandfather had been his only supporter at home, and had loaned him the money he still needed after selling approximately two acres of farming land he had inherited from his mother for approximately $25,000.

On top of selling everything he owned, Mullacheri broke centuries-old social traditions in his homeland of India by daring to follow that dream. His grandparents raised him after his mother died and his father dropped out of his life when he was four years old.

His career choices were down to a literal coin toss between the engineering and medical professions, with his peers and his grandparents tossing the coin. Mullacheri wanted more.

“They never ask what is your interest, what do you want to be? That is what I saw here, they are really optimists (here). But in my place, no. Maybe one in a thousand will be an optimist. All the others say, ‘Never dream big things,'” Mullacheri said.

Flight instructor Vernon Childers has walked Mullacheri through almost a month and a half of private pilot lessons, and said he “could use 20 more just like him” who have his determination and work ethic. Childers said Mullacheri passed the oral part of his exam in 30 minutes, a process that can take hours.

To learn more about Mullacheri’s circumstances or to help, call the Solo Flight School at 263-9920.

Contact Tiffany Revelle at, or call her directly at 263-5636 ext. 37.

Shatterred dreams. Kingfisher Airlines frozen pilot recruitments of ASA passed outs

It is very unfortunate what has happenned to the students of American School of Aviation but now it is turning out to be more worse for those already passed out from ASA. On-going slump in Aviation Sector all over the world has forced India’s second largest Domestic carrier Kingfisher Airlines to freeze current and further pilot recruitments and Airline is not honouring the ‘letters of intent’ it issued for the position of co-pilots earlier this year, mostly passed out students from American School of Aviation, according to the Indian media reports.

Young pilots, who received letters of intent from Kingfisher Airlines promising them co-pilot positions once they completed Type Rating training in American School of Aviation say, several of them have successfully completed their course and have got Indian licences, but have not heard from the airline regarding the promised job.

”They have been told that the airline do not require crew. The communication was given to students as and when they completed course and contacted the airline for the promised job,” says a source.

A young pilot who had been issued this letter says, ”The letter was issued to me in April and it clearly stated that I had to bear the course fee at the American School of Aviation, a one & only institute recognized by the airline. Since a job at the end of the course was guaranteed I coughed up USD 72,000 for this training programme. But after I came back, I contacted Kingfisher but I was asked to stay put and that they would get back to me, which has not happened so far.”

When contacted, a Kingfisher spokesperson – appearing hassled – said the airline would comment on the matter after a day. He referred to the statement issued by the airline on Saturday on the salary cut issue that spoke of the turbulence in the aviation industry meriting reduction in the capacity deployed.

‘All these letters say that the airline would absorb us once foreign flight licence is converted into Indian and we are found ‘skilled enough’,” avers a pilot, who too holds an Letter of Intent. He says this ”skilled enough” criteria that airlines could use against them.

The present job crisis seems routed in the massive recruitments that several airlines undertook in the year 2006 when many pilots undertaking training in India were called for placements. However, no airline is undertaking such placement exercises now. The placements in 2006 included a psychometric test and a personal interview following which letters of intent promising a job in the airline were offered. ”Of 107 people who had appeared for these interviews, 45 were selected and I was one of them,” says a pilot who had appeared for Kingfisher interview.

In 2007 when these cadets were training in American School of Aviation, senior officials of the airline visited them there also. American School of Aviation used to run 12 month course named Kingfisher Airlines Programme (KFA) India, offering special discounts to KFA employees, their siblings or children. During the programme, they get free housing facility, which estimated to cost around $3,500.

North American Institute of Aviation flight school in Conway shuts down abruptly.

It seems that outcome of American School of Aviation affairs has encouraged the authorities at The North American Institute of Aviation flight school in Conway to close down its doors indefinitely Friday, giving notice to staff in their pay checks that their services would no longer be needed. I would rather look at it as a first aviation school who took the initiative of following the footsteps of Prince & Reny very boldly. Result is same like ASA, students and staff is clueless and school authorities is playing hide & Seek with Journalists and students.

Many stranded students have already enrolled into automotive schools all over country. As aviation school all over the country are finding it hard to continue their business, demand for automotive schools is growing by the day as automotive industry is unfazed by the global slowdown.

“This layoff will result in the cessation of most training and flight activities conducted by the Institute. It will not result in the closure of North American Institute of Aviation, Conway/Horry County Airport, or the delivery of fuel and maintenance services to aircraft based at Conway/Horry County Airport or to transient aircraft,” wrote president of the school, Benjamin Creel, in a release.

Creel and the school’s director of operations, Dan Flaherty, did not return phone calls for comment Monday.

Students at the school, many of whom are from foreign countries and living in the United States on student visas, were told Friday that the school would be ceasing its operations. Both foreign and domestic students were left wondering Monday if and when they would get their remaining tuition and expense money returned or it will be the same story like American School of Aviation of whose students are still fighting it out there.

Horry County spokeswoman Lisa Bourcier said the school’s lease at the county airport was not scheduled to run out until May 2009. The county is in the process of rebidding the lease on the airport property, which includes most of the hangar space, as well as the take off ramp. She said NAIA is eligible to rebid the lease.

Students sensed that there was something wrong when they were given credit cards to fuel the planes at other locations than the on-campus airport depot.

“Not too long ago they gave each of us a credit card to fill up the planes on fuel,” one of the student said. “Those cards filled up quickly and a few days before Friday, the school told us they were basically out of fuel.”

Instructors told foreign students that the school is trying to work out visa agreements to allow them to transfer to the Pelican Flight Training Center in Florida.

The American students are not part of that agreement.

Students were told they had 30 days to vacate the apartments on Airport Road in Conway, which are not owned by the school but are paid for through a contract between the realty company and the school on a monthly basis.

A search of Bankruptcy Court Records filed in the past six months showed that neither Creel nor NAIA had filed for bankruptcy. Creel also owns Creel Oil Co. and a distributor for Shell Oil.

Karim Sadok Chatty, NAIA dropout of 1996
Karim Sadok Chatty, NAIA dropout of 1996

Calls to the college and to staff to ask about whether student money would be refunded were not returned Monday.

Horry County police stationed two officers at the school through the weekend, in case of unrest from students.

North American Institute of Aviation first came into the news in year 2002 when one of their dropouts Kerim Sadok Chatty, a Tunisian was arrested with a gun in his carry-on luggage at the small Swedish airport of Vasteras near Stockholm on August 28, 2002 as he tried to board a Ryan Air flight to London’s Stansted Airport. He had flunked out of NAIA  in 1996. Chatty was later released after spending a one month in total isolation for lack of evidence.

Open letter to the parents of victimized ASA students

Dear Parents of victimized ASA students:

I have no doubt the sentiment and plea expressed in the letters addressed to the respected Mr. Vayalar Ravi, the Minister sent by many of you represent the collective emotions of those who were caught up in the recent ASA fiasco of horrendous order of magnitude. My heart goes out to you all during this time of enduring hardship.

If I may, I’d like to ask if any one of you ever received a reply from the Minister’s office for coming forward with a relief offer of any kind let alone simply acknowledging the receipt of your letter so far?…….thought so.

While I sincerely hope a meaningful relief is forthcoming from either government, it seems that to happen in this instance is far less likely much to everyone’s disappointment.

While I am firmly convinced what the duo Prince and Reny have done to the students amounts to a criminal fraud and they must be brought to justice, I am also firmly convinced that the recovery of the lost student’s funds should be vigorously pursued by all means by instituting the most formidable consume fraud case in the history of Indian jurisprudence against ASA as well KFA as a plausible accomplice by knowingly or unknowingly in aiding and abetting the Ponzi scheme then run by ASA.

It won’t happen overnight and no one can do it alone. It takes a collective determination and intention (will) to follow through until the objective is achieved. Never mind the government assistance, it’s not coming except in a form of meaningless lip services and dancing and skirting around the issue.

Why not organizing the ASA student family group in India by contacting and enlisting alliances with other families, consumer advocacy groups, legal outreach groups and likes all the while promoting public media attention?

It will succeed eventually as long as the effort continues. Just expecting someone else to do it won’t work because nothing will ever get done in that way. Everyone must get involved and take an active role however small that may be in a collective effort for a common cause. Isn’t that what the great people of India brought down the Great Britain to its knees to forfeit then the colonial territory in the end?

It can be done and to think otherwise you’re vastly underestimating what the collective effort by a group of determined people can achieve. Don’t be daunted by a sheer size of KFA and the Indian lending institutions as the corporate size means little, if anything, in the justice of law. Rise up and press on!

All the best and good luck to you all.


Echo Yankee, ATP/A&P

Civil Matter – American School of Aviation

A file photo of Flight Instructors of American School of Aviation, Atwater, CA
A file photo of Flight Instructors of American School of Aviation, Atwater, CA

Possible code and ordinance violations;

Federal Statutory Code;

Improper aircraft registration
Non compliance with aircraft registration requirement

Improper aircraft maintenance
Non compliance with aircraft maintenance requirement

Improper school operation
Non compliance with P141 school requirement

Improper report, paperwork
Non compliance with AFSP, DHS requirement

Non payment on tax due
Non compliance with IRS requirement

Non payment on employment taxes
Non compliance with IRS requirement

California State Statutory Code;

No aircraft insurance filing
Non compliance with PUC insurance requirement

No payment on employment taxes
Non compliance with EDD requirement

No delivery of services contracted and paid
Non compliance with Business & Professions code requirement

No tuition refund made
Non compliance with DEO requirement

No payment on fuel purchased
Non compliance with Business and Professions Code requirement

Merced County Ordinance;

Unpaid office/hangar, tie-down rent
Non compliance with county lease agreement

Unhealthy dormitory conditions
Non compliance with county health code requirement

Hazardous and reckless operation
Non compliance with airport operations requirement

And perhaps in more possible violations committed by ASA. Any competent lawyer should be able to find an appropriate code, ordinance citation and build a strong enough case against the duo Prince and Reny in a civil court for getting a civil penalty and judgement in their respective case.

Echo Yankee