• Report: #342880
Complaint Review:

Phoenix East Aviation

  • Submitted: Sun, June 22, 2008
  • Updated: Fri, June 15, 2012

  • Reported By:Daytona Beach Florida
Phoenix East Aviation
561 Pearl Harbor Drive Daytona Beach, Florida U.S.A.

Phoenix East Aviation, Inc. Flight school misrepresented completion time for courses, and refused to refund unused tuition in account Daytona Beach Florida

*General Comment: Fake Prices, unlimited cost, Bad instructors

*Author of original report: I need to counter that rebuttal, there were many blatant lies, twisted truth, and innuendo

*UPDATE Employee: A Gross Misrepresentation

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My husband was a flight student at Phoenix East Aviation, enrolled to take what they call their Program III. Their PRO III program is supposed to take you from a PPL to Commercial, Instrument, and all the way to CFII. A total of 8 courses. He is a pilot from the UK and already had his PPL when he enrolled. He paid about $22,000. into his student account over about 8 months. In that 8 months he only was able to complete most of one course, the Instrument Rating. They then refused to train him further, claiming that he did not have a necessary document to train (this is after already training there for 8 months, mind you). He finally withdrew from the school, after he gave up trying to continue training there, and requested his money back, unused tuition sitting in his student account, about $5000. This was August 2007.

He finally got back a little over $900., which is what they claim is what was left in his student account. We still have no idea how they did their math. I'm still trying to get the rest of his money back.

I want to warn people about this school. There seems to be a common thread among flight schools. This practice of refusing to return unused tuition. And the misrepresentation of the costs and completion times of courses.

I have contacted the Florida Dept of Consumer Affairs, who agree with our position but have no authority to enforce. The accreditation company ACCET took the side of the school, but refused to listen to our side.

I think there may be a cause of action here for breach of contract, I'm still waiting for some information before I go forward.

I would like to hear from any others that have had similar dealings with this school.

Thank you.

Daytona Beach, Florida

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 06/22/2008 09:03 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/phoenix-east-aviation/daytona-beach-florida-32114/phoenix-east-aviation-inc-flight-school-misrepresented-completion-time-for-courses-and-342880. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 General Comment

Fake Prices, unlimited cost, Bad instructors

AUTHOR: Ghassan - (United States of America)

I get enrollment to get "Privet pilot licence" with price as they giving me its the lowest in the flight industry, and brought me from overseas on base of this prices. Price to get PPL Tuition Fees ($10145.00) as Fix price" but I lost so far total of ($30000.00) and my  Visa expire and they Says go and back when you have money!!!. and no licence as of fake prices. they get money account and make you paid advance in it and charge you with unlimited with out get back to you. 
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#2 Author of original report

I need to counter that rebuttal, there were many blatant lies, twisted truth, and innuendo

AUTHOR: Floridanative9999 - (U.S.A.)


Lie 1: "He failed to tell us he had a British license already."

Not true, blatant lie, of course you knew that and so did Phoenix. You should have copies on file. I did not conceal that from PEA or from USCIS or anyone else.

Lie 2: "... he had a great deal of difficulty and came to me several times, ... ready to quit as he said he had lost his confidence."

Not true. I never said I had lost my confidence or said that I was ready to quit.

Twisted truth: "We offered him the option of getting the actual FAA license ..."

I had no need for the actual FAA license, I already held a valid and current CAA license, and you knew it. I did not pay to train for an FAA private license, as you well know. I was there to train for commercial license, etc.

Twisted truth: "he finally withdrew from the school refusing to do anything to renew the documents required by law for us to legally train him."

I applied for the document in question as soon as I was told I needed it. I was forced out of flight school when PEA refused to train me, and also refused to return my money.

Lie 3: 'his flying skills were substandard at best."

Not true, blatant lie. I enrolled there as an experienced private pilot and I am confident of my skills.

Lie 4: "he could not fly to FAA standards."

Not true, blatant lie. I have held an FAA private license for years that is contingent upon my CAA license being current and valid. CAA standards are far more stringent.

There are lots more blatant lies, twisted truth and innuendo in Mike's post. I have never had a day in court and I stand by what I have said. It is a shame that a flight school that claims such credibility has stooped to this level. I don't appreciate the underhanded attempt to disparage my ability to be a pilot. I further do not appreciate the bold accusation that I lied to USCIS in failing to tell them that I was a pilot from the UK. Of course USCIS knew I was a pilot, as did Phoenix East Aviation. I had to register with Homeland Security and TSA, background checks etc. all done.

I arrived from the UK after not having flown for 18 months due to funding my two son's college fees. I held a night rating and an instrument rating, although they were in need of revalidating. After enrolling in the school I requested that I get my bi-annual current, together with four or five hours flight time to get back in the left hand seat. These requests were denied. I had no way of renewing my bi-annual at Phoenix East.

My first instructor was fired. My second instructor wanted 11 hours of lesson repeats. At the end of commercial instrument, March 2007, I was given a stage 3 oral. This is a two hour oral exam. One hour of this was spent with that check pilot going through all my documentation. The only thing I had missing was a 50 mile night time straight line distance flight. That I complied with. So the oral checkride was incomplete.

Four weeks later, I got the same checkpilot to complete the oral. He went through my documentaton again. And this time announced I needed a letter of authenticity. The flight school had me down in their files, as this letter not being required. I applied for that letter. And was only told I could train for a private pilot's license.

In the next 3 months Phoenix East Aviation continued to take money out of my account while they claimed they were unable to train me pending that letter. WHAT DOES THE FAA COMMENT ON THIS ISSUE?

I have a letter from the FAA, so I guess I'll see you in court. Had Phoenix East continued to train me on the commercial program I would still be at that school. Instead they declined to train me pending that letter. Yes it is true I had to go back to the UK, and yes they were matters of a personal nature. These I tried to expedite promptly and swiftly and return to flying.

I left Phoenix because they insisted on taking money from my account while they were not prepared to train me, for the reasons stated. I joined an excellent flight school in Venice. After not having flown for four months, I did a two hour checkride and completed my FAA instrument.

My flying skills, substandard? Don't think so. I have e-mails from others who were at Phoenix East Aviation and they all left for the same reasons. One guy paid nearly $18000.00 to get a private. He didn't complete it there, he left. And after a 3 hour flight refresher he completed his private, and obtained his commercial for less than $5000.00. A blog site is not a good place to be. Remember,the truth will always come out. Be careful what you write.
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#3 UPDATE Employee

A Gross Misrepresentation

AUTHOR: Mike - (U.S.A.)

This is a simple case of someone not wanting to admit or take responsibility for their own deficiencies. This gentleman came to us to train to be a professional pilot. He failed to tell us he had a British license already, which is considered to be a concealment of facts by him, to the FAA and the US Department of State that issues the visa. He concealed facts that would have shown him to be ineligible for the visa he took.

The first few weeks he trained he had a great deal of difficulty and came in to me several times (I was his admissions officer) ready to quit as he said he had lost his confidence. Each time I was able to convince him to continue telling him he would get over it. He then had to leave for several weeks and told me he probably would not return from England as he had a real personal mess waiting for him when he got home. I won't get into those details but, in that he was truthful and I can understand irrational behavior due to the severity of his problem. Several weeks later he called and said he planned to return and finish the course. Of course this ate up a great deal of time that the time limited visa gave him, and that particular visa (J1) can not be renewed or extended. We offered him the option of just getting the actual US FAA license (a fairly simple procedure for someone in his position) but he chose to go the route through the bureaucracy of both the US and European aviation authorities instead. This also ate up a great deal of time that he could not recover. Yes, he "finally withdrew from the school" refusing to do anything to renew the documents required by law for us to legally train him. Think about that. A flight school, training foreign citizens, today, breaking the law? We would be out of business and maybe in jail in a heartbeat.

Quite bluntly, when he did train his flying skills were substandard at best. Whether or not he still had a confidence problem, poor motor skills or was just disturbed by his personal situation, we have no way of telling, nor any way of helping him. We did give him evaluations with several senior check pilots to see if anyone could come up with a way to help. Simply put, he could not fly to FAA standards. We basically did everything we could to help, but he insists on blaming us for the problems and would do nothing to help himself.

Regarding the unused tuition and his refund, we are an accredited school. There is a briefing given before any student is allowed to sign his enrollment agreement. Every item is checked off and both the admissions officer and the student sign and date that briefing sheet. One of the items is the "refund policy" which is described in complete detail, going over percentages, time factor, etc. This gentleman signed that sheet and it is here for anyone to see. He was well aware of it and agreed to it by his signature. No one held a gun to his head, nor did he have to deposit that large sum of money in his school account. He chose to do it that way, after being given alternative options. He knows how we "did the math." All he has to do is read the agreement he has and he signed. He keeps sending letters and speaking to every agency he can find. Each letter has a different monetary demand and every agency and organization he has contacted (The Florida court system, our accreditation council ACCET, the Florida Department of Consumer Affairs, you name it) and they have all ruled in our favor. We gave him the refund he was due, and he knows how we arrived at that figure, and the refund that he signed and agreed to. He seems to fail to factor in litte things like not showing up for a scheduled flight, tying up a plane and instructor so no one else can use them and costing the instructor a good 25% of his income for the day. Yes, we charge for that, after giving everyone the first one for free.

This school has been in business for well over 30 years. Our reputation can be checked with the FAA District Office in Orlando, Florida among other agencies. We have students from all over the world and if anyone wishes to come here and verify anything I will be happy to let you see anything you want and talk to anyone (employee or student) you want. I would defy you to find someone here that would believe any of the accusations or find any evidence thereof.

Just looking up the record at FAA.GOV, I see this gentleman still has only a temporary Private license based on his foreign certificate, so he still has not done anything or has not been capable of attaining his licenses. The records of this incident are here and, if anyone cares to do so, they can be inspected at this location.

We are human and make mistakes but, when we do we admit them and do anything we can to make up for them. This is a longstanding, reputable school that does everything possible to pre-inform students before they sign anything. Unfortunately there is no protection for us from students who are less than forthcoming or unable to understand that they too have responsibilities.
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