300 ex ata student pilots fight for justice

Frederic

New Member
www.redtrainer.org

Airline Training Academy, a family-owned flight school based in Orlando, Florida, has not only stolen thousands of dollars from flight students, but they have destroyed the dreams of so many young pilots. The Williams Family, who owns ATA, closed the doors on February 28th, leaving their students, employees, and many others hanging out to dry.
Airline Training Academy had, what appeared to be a great program, but turned out to be nothing but false promises. ATA had a “mission” to help young pilots live out their dream of becoming airline pilots by training them how to fly, how to fly well, and putting them in a position where they would be hired by an airline. Upon enrolling in the flight training program at ATA, students had to come up with anywhere from $40,000 to $65,000 depending upon the training they required. Most students went through Key Alternative Loan to acquire the money, as Key Bank had made arrangements with ATA to be their main loan source. Unlike most institutions, where students pay as they go, ATA demanded all the money up front. If students paid up front, they were enrolled in the “guaranteed” program, which meant that a student would not pay anymore that he/she had initially paid, even if the student did not finish his/her training as scheduled. For example, if a student needed 40 hours or 200 hours to acquire a rating, he/she would still pay the same amount. Sounds like a good deal, huh? Well, they also promised their students training on the ATC-900 Simulator, the CL-65 RJ Simulator, an internship with a cargo company, where they would be able to fly First Officer in a turboprop airplane, and finally, have an interview with an airline! When they finished the course, they would have logged over 250 hours single engine, 100 hours multi-engine, and 300 hours turbine time! As most things that sound too good to be true, this was, as on February 27, 2003, ATA closed its doors, taking all the students’ money. ATA had over 300 students enrolled in their program; that’s over $15,000,000. They even took money from students who had not even started school yet. A group of students were enrolled to start school the next week. The students had already paid for their training; some of them had not even gotten into town yet, and their money was gone! $50,000 gone and nothing to show for it! One student had received a loan from Key Alternative Loan for $80,000, which was sent to ATA. His program was only $50,000, so ATA was supposed to send him the additional $30,000 for living expenses and such. They sent him a check for it all right, but when he took it to the bank to have it cashed, the check bounced. He is out $80,000.
I understand that this was probably not the family’s initial intention, but why would the Williams continue to take innocent students’ money when they knew they were not going to hold up their end of the contract? The Williams knew they were going bankrupt and would not be able to pay the students the money they had taken from them, yet they still continued collecting new recruits’ money. In addition, putting the students aside, the family also owes their employees two weeks worth of pay (how convenient that the Williams’ closed their doors the day before pay day!), as well as Executive Air Center money for fuel, and many others. This can be called nothing but stealing. The saddest part of the whole thing is that so many students will not be able to afford flight training somewhere else because they have exhausted all their funds into ATA. Their lifelong dreams have been shattered because of a sick family of thieves.

Please go to our website for more information, www.redtrainer.org and help us to fight this wrongdoing. Any support in the form of information, contacts, leads or donations will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,
The pilots of redtrainer.org
 

Frederic

New Member
www.redtrainer.org

Airline Training Academy, a family-owned flight school based in Orlando, Florida, has not only stolen thousands of dollars from flight students, but they have destroyed the dreams of so many young pilots. The Williams Family, who owns ATA, closed the doors on February 28th, leaving their students, employees, and many others hanging out to dry.

Airline Training Academy had, what appeared to be a great program, but turned out to be nothing but false promises. ATA had a “mission” to help young pilots live out their dream of becoming airline pilots by training them how to fly, how to fly well, and putting them in a position where they would be hired by an airline.

Upon enrolling in the flight training program at ATA, students had to come up with anywhere from $40,000 to $65,000 depending upon the training they required. Most students went through Key Alternative Loan to acquire the money, as Key Bank had made arrangements with ATA to be their main loan source. Unlike most institutions, where students pay as they go, ATA demanded all the money up front. If students paid up front, they were enrolled in the “guaranteed” program, which meant that a student would not pay anymore that he/she had initially paid, even if the student did not finish his/her training as scheduled. For example, if a student needed 40 hours or 200 hours to acquire a rating, he/she would still pay the same amount. Sounds like a good deal, huh? Well, they also promised their students training on the ATC-900 Simulator, the CL-65 RJ Simulator, an internship with a cargo company, where they would be able to fly First Officer in a turboprop airplane, and finally, have an interview with an airline! When they finished the course, they would have logged over 250 hours single engine, 100 hours multi-engine, and 300 hours turbine time!

As most things that sound too good to be true, this was, as on February 27, 2003, ATA closed its doors, taking all the students’ money. ATA had over 300 students enrolled in their program; that’s over $15,000,000. They even took money from students who had not even started school yet. A group of students were enrolled to start school the next week. The students had already paid for their training; some of them had not even gotten into town yet, and their money was gone! $50,000 gone and nothing to show for it! One student had received a loan from Key Alternative Loan for $80,000, which was sent to ATA. His program was only $50,000, so ATA was supposed to send him the additional $30,000 for living expenses and such. They sent him a check for it all right, but when he took it to the bank to have it cashed, the check bounced. He is out $80,000.

I understand that this was probably not the family’s initial intention, but why would the Williams continue to take innocent students’ money when they knew they were not going to hold up their end of the contract? The Williams knew they were going bankrupt and would not be able to pay the students the money they had taken from them, yet they still continued collecting new recruits’ money. In addition, putting the students aside, the family also owes their employees two weeks worth of pay (how convenient that the Williams’ closed their doors the day before pay day!), as well as Executive Air Center money for fuel, and many others.

This can be called nothing but stealing. The saddest part of the whole thing is that so many students will not be able to afford flight training somewhere else because they have exhausted all their funds into ATA. Their lifelong dreams have been shattered because of a sick family of thieves.

Please go to our website for more information, www.redtrainer.org and help us to fight this wrongdoing. Any support in the form of information, contacts, leads or donations will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,
The pilots of redtrainer.org

it can you read better like that flychicaga,
 

DE727UPS

Well-Known Member
With and without paragraphs...I can't believe this school would take peoples money like that. I also can't believe that students would pay that kind of money up front. This was one of the big academies that had the coolest ads and the biggest promises...a PFT program even. If nothing else, I hope this event serves as a warning to those thinking about flight training to stay away from these places that demand you pay large sums up front.
 

tonyw

Well-Known Member
It is not fair, but I think ATA's students may get shafted. Those who have security interests (the guys who ATA pledged their assets to as collateral) will come first. And if there is anything left, you'll have to wait in line with the rest of the folks.

I think that your best bet may be to get Key to go after ATA to get their money back.
 
Top