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….

Cindy

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

Reny_kozman_with_family

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?
A: HUMAN POOP!!

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

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.

I have the news where these students are going to get their admissions for their check ride

Thanks Mr. Bjoy aden for providing the names, IT SEEMS THEY ARE TALENTED AND CLEVER ENOUGH TO PROVE THE FAA AND THE IMMIGRATION TO LOOK LIKE A FOOL.

Two of the names (KAUSHIK & SHIVANI) were a fish trapper for Prince and Renny, they earned a lot by catching innocent students from India and elsewhere and made false promises even when the school was in the brink of extinction, they even said the student’s it was a summer vacation and they would receive a new laptop from the school when it reopens, and the third name (DEEPAK MAHALA) is a great and renowned person in ASA, an alcoholic and a drugs addict who was and is a hired mercenary for Prince and Renny to threaten the students from time to time. A few number of such cases are also registered against him in the Merced county. And about JIM I have no clue why is he still ******** Prince and Renny’s ***, probably he wants some multi hours so he even wants to triple his multi hours on the Dutchees as he was turned down from Cal Air for not meeting his multi requirements for an multi instructor post. They know it very well that with the current status they can complete their requirements but cannot go on with a check ride, so the next thing they will do is to get an I-20 of a school, get new TSA’s and complete their check ride. And probably they will seek a school which is far away from here, may be Arizona, Texas or elsewhere so that their records cannot be traced.

I have full support for the students of ASA who have suffered such heavy losses, and I am getting other people to help them but my sincere request will also be that all the students and the people who are in support should stand up and stop these kind of mean minded people to get away easily, they dont have any sympathy towards the suffered students, they only know their business, they can dance on their own ones graves for getting their work done. As per my information I have the news where these students are going to get their admissions for their check ride, and I will work seriously to see that I can update the concerned school regarding the matter so that they can not escape.

anonymous commentator

Understanding the California Penal Code likely to be applicable in the ASA case

My analysis from the sideline

What occurred or reported to have occurred at ASA

1. It (ASA) failed to deliver flight training to its students as per the agreement
2. It failed to refund the unused tuition to the students when requested.
3. It operated in violation of numerous Federal, State and local regulations.
4. They (Prince & Reny; owners) lacked moral, professional and business fitness to run a fight school.
5. They defrauded students.
6. They defrauded local merchants.
7. They defrauded local governments
8. They defrauded federal government
9. They endangered the health and welfare of the students and their parents home.

Applicable California State Penal Code
□§154 Debtor fraudulently removing, conveying, or concealing property;

Every debtor who fraudulently removes his property or effects out of this state, or fraudulently sells, conveys, assigns or conceals his property with intent to defraud, hinder or delay his creditors of their rights,
claims or demands, is punishable by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding one year, or by fine not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both; provided, however, that where the property so removed or sold or conveyed, or assigned or concealed, consists of a stock in trade or a part thereof, of a value exceeding one hundred dollars, the offense shall be a felony and punishable as such.

□§155 Defendant or judgment debtor fraudulently removing, concealing, or disposing of personal
property sought to be recovered.

Every person against whom an action is pending, or against whom a judgment has been rendered for the recovery of any personal property, who fraudulently conceals, sells, or disposes of such property, with intent to hinder, delay, or defraud the person bringing such action or recovering such judgment, or with such intent the time of the commencement of such action or the rendering of such judgment, is punishable as provide in the proceeding section.

□§476a. Checks, drafts or orders on banks; insufficient funds; intent to defraud; punishment

Any person who willfully, with intent to defraud, makes or draws or utters or delivers any check, draft or order upon any bank or depositary, or person, or firm, or corporation, for the payment of money, knowing at the time of such making, drawing, uttering, or delivering that the maker or drawer or the corporation has not sufficient funds in, or credit with said bank or depositary for the payment of such check upon such funds then outstanding, in
Full upon its presentation is punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year, or in the state prison.

□§484b. Diversion of funds received to obtain or pay for services, labor, materials or equipment

Any person who receives money for the purpose of obtaining services and wrongfully diverts the funds to a use other than that for which the funds were received, shall be guilty of a public offense and shall be punishable by a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000) or by imprisonment in the state prison, or in the county jail not exceeding one year, or by both such fine and such imprisonment.

□§532 False pretenses; obtaining money, labor, or property; punishment

Every person who knowingly and designedly, by any false or fraudulent representation or pretense, defrauds any other person of money, labor, or property, whether real or personal, is punishable in the same manner and to the same extent as for larceny of the money or property so obtained.

□§537 Defrauding innkeepers, etc.

Any person who obtains any accommodations at apartment house, without paying therefore, with intent to defraud the proprietor or manager thereof, is guilty of a public offense punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for a term not more than one year, or in the state prison.

Now those are just few of the state penal codes that I came up with for the moment and by doing a little research on my own (I can’t afford a $250/hr lawyer for reading the same law books).

I haven ‘t touched in the areas of possible Federal statutes violation yet, here’re some of the applicable codes under the Title 18 of USC –Crimes and Criminal Procedures that could well apply to the ASA case on the Federal offense side for the feds to pursue.

□§31 Aircraft and Motor Vehicles
□§241 Civil Rights
□§371 Conspiracy
□§641 Embezzlement and Theft
□§1001 Fraud and False Statements
□§1231 Labor
□§1341 Mail Fraud
□§1421 Nationality and Citizenship
□§1821 Professions and Occupations
□§1951 Racketeering
□§2071 Records and Reports

You want me to go on?……yah thought so.

Most of the above offenses if not all are felony offences each carrying one or more years of imprisonment if convicted. In the ASA case, if the DA is successful in achieving even one criminal conviction, that will land over 100 years in jail time for those convicted. (each one count x number of victims/students and you get the figure)

What needed to achieve a conviction requires only two things like everything else in everyone’s life, desire and strong enough intention (will) to carry it out, the rest will follow.

So far all seems to be lacking at both the DA’s office and the Sheriff’s department of Merced County. If they need to bring in an aggressive outside prosecutor, I know the one from the East Coast who’s not so long ago decided to take an unscheduled retirement for some personal reasons . Hint…… last name begins with “S” and his last job was a state governor.
As far as I know he’s still unemployed at present.

Echo Yankee, over & out!

Only chance of recovery of the student’s fees from ASA is……………….

Hello ASA students,

First off, I’d like to express my sincere sympathy for those students stranded by the recent ASA fiasco and wish you all the early arrival of meaningful assistance to alleviate the current enduring hardship. I have no personal stake in this ordeal and neither lost nor gained anything from this occurrence. Nevertheless I can’t stop being indignant about both Prince and Reny of their incompetence and deceit whichever the characterization is appropriate that brought to cause a current plight onto those young aspiring Indian students.

In as much as I’d like to believe that Prince and Reny stashed away a sizable amount of cash somewhere as some still like to speculate or believe and therefore there’s some chance of recovery of their prepaid fees, it pains me to tell you all such chances to exist is literally infinitesimal if not nonexistent.

I know it’s easier said than done but give it a rest on a hope of recovery by a means of law suit. In the Breach of Contract case such as this, you will most likely prevail in the court and obtain a judgment. But think about it, what good is it that the judgment that can collect nothing from the defaulting party. A writ of execution issued from the court is just a useless paper of no value. Remember no one wins in a law suit except lawyers. (been there, done that, fought an airport use permit issue against a county ordinance in the US Federal Court and won the battle but lost the war in the end after consuming 3 years and $150K in legal fees, .a Pyrrhic victory indeed.

Judging from the reported size of operation,(110 students, 43 instructors, 40 aircraft) the monthly operating cost could be anywhere from $225k to $250k/mo. or more to keep that size of operation going. Remember ASA did not have $4.4 mil in a lump sum cash to start with. It’s an accumulative total revenue over the time they were in business. Unless they had an sufficient operating capital set aside which I doubt, their monthly operating expenses were entirely relied on one source; student fees. There’re good months with some surplus fund left and there’re some bad months with an insufficient amount of income even to cover the monthly overhead. It’s highly probable that ASA needed at minimum 4 to 5 new students to keep its doors open. All fees collected from the students were all spent long since and I bet they’re just scraping by from month to month with a hope of someday getting ahead with an arrival of new enrollment group consisting of substantial number of students. Unfortunately, that day never came and the KFA fallout was the last straw. And while they were still at it, the problems started to pile up one after another. It probably started with a minor student’s complain and then rapidly growing to many issues that eventually raised red flags and invited all kinds of government scrutinies from all directions FAA, County’s office, IRS, FTA (Calif. State Franchise Tax Board) and all. Despite less than honorable character references made about both Prince and Reny in many posts, I doubt they had planned this outcome from the beginning. It’s a case of pure incompetence and mismanagement. They had somehow managed to slip their foot in the door and pried open the business opportunity just in time to ride the surging tide of pilot shortages beginning to be faced by the Indian airlines.

Some of you already know about another flight school closure earlier this year which draws some parallels to the events at ASA in the order of far greater magnitude.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silver_State_Helicopters

Silver State Helicopter (SSH) school headquartered in Las Vegas closed abruptly by filing Chapter 7 leaving 2,500 students out to the street. They operated over 250 helicopters at over 40 schools nationwide in the US. All students prepaid $70,000 each for their training fees. A Class action suit is pending in the Nevada Court and the lawyers are having field days. Good lawyers can compose an opposing lawyer’s argument before composing his own and they are very good and capable indeed and naturally they command high fees most can’t afford.

The only chance of recovery of the student’s fees from ASA is by naming KFA along with banks and lending institutions as co-defendant on the premise that they too are culpable for the damages sustained by those entrusting students. Their failure to perform proper audit and due diligence on the flight school led to the demise of the program today otherwise succeeded. This premise has a much greater chance of succeeding and the judgement amount of $5 mil range plus legal expenses has far more chances of collection from KFA and the Indian lending institutions involved than nonexistent collection probability from the duo Prince and Reny.

Now sit tight and think hard about the good advices offered in the Capt. Kishore’s post and begin to make a check list of your own action plan and proceed to follow thru on it one by one. BTW, make sure to insist on a kind of insurance policy like the one mentioned in the navdeev’s post if you’re fortunate enough to take out another loan again.

Before too long, you’ll be out of the soup and turbulence and you’ll be back cruising in the smooth blue skies again. How do I know this? Well I went through the similar ordeals few times myself since my first arrival in the US in 1968 from Asia and got my ATP, A&P, MEI, AD and few more ratings and pursued my aviation career until my semi-retirement from flight duties few years ago. Well, that’s my two cents. Hang tight and never ever give up your goal.
All the best.

Echo Yankee, Real identity not revealed……

Recovery may not be possible if Prince & Reny file for Bankruptcy under Chapter 7 of the Federal Law, feels Capt C Kishore

Living in US? Call India as low as 4 cent per minute with Airtel

Capt C Kishore, Director, Arrow Aviation Solutions writes

Dear ASA Students,

At the outset I am sure those who took the Psychometric test under me for the ASA-KFA program, would remember me and my steadfast criticism of students who did not perform well. Anyways, we had severed ties with ASA after they did not renew the contract with us and inspite of that on personal requests from Hasher Khan, Reny and also their Indian Representatives (Study Abroad), I continued doing tests for 3 more months. Later realized that I was being conned and would never get paid for the tests done on the pretext that I had not released results… that’s obvious, why should I release the results unless we are assured of being paid for our services. Repeated phone calls to Hasher/Reny/Sergio yielded no result and when I did a bit of research I was sure that ASA would shut down sooner than later and I had predicted this as early as Nov’2007 after the KFA fall out. In fact I had advised a few students who were in touch with me to get out before it is too late. I was told by these students that Prince has threatened not to return the money if anyone leaves.

Just some food for thought from my visit to Atwater from 4th July to 9th July’2008. I went there on request of few parents and Study Abroad, Chennai to help students secure transfers to better flight schools and also organize a good attorney to file a law suit. Firstly my observation was that there are far too many groups of students and each group with their personal agenda on how to solve the situation, unfortunately I found most of the groups far too immature in their actions as well as long term objectives, it appeared as if they had lost focus on why they had gone to USA. I do not blame them considering the trauma they would have undergone after being evicted from the barracks and realizing that their flying dream has crash landed.

1. As Bhavna brought out, Who is “Prince”? if you just go back a few years behind you will realise that apparently he started out as a Flight Instructor in Amritsar Flying School, Punjab, where there are unconfirmed reports that he was involved in cases of fraud following which he fled to USA/Canada.

2. Can Kingfisher be indemnified from the whole scene as they play a major role in the whole deal, most of the kids joined ASA because of the KFA (Kingfisher Airlines) tie up, inspite of knowing that they were going to pay more than other flight schools. The fact lies that ASA continued to use the KFA tie up to lure new students even after the fall out. How come KFA never did a audit on a flight school they endorsed for their cadet program? Which should have been a mandatory practise in view of KFA allowing ASA to use their logo for co-branding…. this beats me totally… unless Prince had been paying KFA officials responsible for such an audit.

3. $4.4 million and counting, I am not a great finance expert, but being a Pilot and an aviation consultant with thorough knowledge on what goes into running a flight school from fuel, maintenance, aircraft lease, spares, landing charges,etc etc….I can safely say that it is next to impossible to expend such a large amount of money in such a short period of time. Well the finance experts might want to prove me wrong by putting pen to paper, yet they would fail miserably. I visited the ASA ramp in Atwater, personally and saw that there were hardly 7 or 8 airplanes on the ramp, wonder whatever happened to the 40 odd aircraft if they were actually owned by ASA. Well if they were on lease then on what did Reny/ Prince spend money on.

4. I am sorry to say but, after extensive talks with various Attorneys I can say that recovery of the money of all the students may not be possible if they file for Bankruptcy under Chapter 7 of the Federal Law, but still a lot depends on discovery of assets within the USA to recover the money. Knowing Prince and Reny, I am sure there is no money in USA coz I don’t think either of them is so foolish to have assets in USA and are waiting for those assets to be attached through a Court injunction. Yes, sending them behind bars maybe a probable proposition, even though it is too early to say that. So, basically there are far too many variables and let us all accept the fact that no miraculous recovery of fees paid is going to happen overnight.

5. I was told that the Indian Embassy in SFO has provided 2 attorneys who are willing to fight the law suit against ASA, without any money being paid upfront and want 40% of the money recovered as attorney fees, which I feel is ridiculous. I wonder what the hell is the Indian Embassy doing, are they trying to get the students be duped of their rightful claim of damages for what they have undergone. I would rather pay the attorney his fees and enjoy the money he recovers as damages. Because if there is money to be recovered from assets then I might as well as recover my complete money. How do we know whether there is money to be recovered, well that can only be ascertained through a thorough investigation by a competent financial investigator. Please keep in mind that this is a huge lawsuit and the claim for damages can amount to as high as $5 million upwards. even that might be an understatement. So just tread the road ahead with caution, those offering help may not actually be a knight in shining Armour.

As they always say advise is always free, whether you take it or leave it is your choice…. so here goes my two pence on this issue to all of you ASA students.

1. Those with funds crunch right now, try and organize funds enough to fund your Private at least, get your PPL and head back to India, put your head down and study, clear your DGCA papers and then re assess your finances and try and get into Indigo or Air India Express cadet program, which shall at least assure you a job in the current volatile market.

2. Those who can afford to complete their training and are not a part of the KFA cadet program, you better think about getting yourself a CFI and work towards time building before getting back to India, try getting add-on ratings on King Air B200 or a Citation CJ2, so that the chances of your enjoyability increase in Corporate sector.

3. Along with your CPL get yourself an Aviation Management Diploma from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University so that you can get placement in Airline Operations while you slowly work your way back towards the flight deck.

I wish you guys all the best in all your future endeavors and all of you are most welcome to mail me at kishore@arrowaviationsolutions.com.

Happy Landings

Capt C Kishore   Director, Arrow Aviation Solutions