Report: #57824

Complaint Review: Aerial Messages Inc., Tim Pacini - South Daytona Florida

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  • Reported By: Alsemberg Europe
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  • Aerial Messages Inc., Tim Pacini 1725 S. Nova Rd South Daytona, Florida U.S.A.

Aerial Messages Inc., Tim Pacini ripoff, fraud, lies, thief, banner towing, screws everybody even other business, cannot pay his own bills, wife and husband are in it together South Daytona Florida

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Hi everyone,

I'm a multi-engine commercial pilot from Europe. I went to Aerial Messages in November 2002.

I flew over from Europe and stayed in Daytona for a month to get a banner tow endorsement and a FAA single engine VFR conversion.

Upon my arrival on November 18th, Tim didn't know that I was coming and covered it up by settling me in his townhouse ASAP, but only after paying 2500$ (1000 to suscribe (payable before coming) to the course and 1500 upon arrival).

During my stay I flew 6h and had done 11h of ground in 4 weeks time.

I never got endorsed, his instructor claimed I didn't have enough upper body strenght. I later found out via Embry Ridle Aeronautical University that upper body strength is not that important to tow banners.

I asked Tim if I could get the rest of my money back, and just as for everyone else, he told me I could expect it within a month.

I had made the mistake to sign the paper that says he has a month to refund any money.

Since he felt I didn't believe him, he also gave me the phone number of his "accountant", Karla Benden ((386)756.8639). I looked her up in the telephone book, but couldn't find her. I later found out Ms Benden is Tim's wife and as you can imagine she's anything but reliable. (Fraud is in the family...)

The multiple faxes, mails and phonecalls I made remained unanswered.
Ms Benden's phone number appeared to be a fax number which itself was forwarded to another number ((904)253.4185). Needless to say that it remained unanswered too.

Since I live in Europe, there's nothing I can do because it would end up costing me more in transportation.

However, I would like to warn everyone who considers going to Aerial Messages.

You will not get training, nor get endorsed and definitely not get a job!!!!

If you'd like to read the details of what happened to me:

If you're checking this website, it can only mean one thing: you are considering to become a banner tow pilot. Well, if you're thinking of doing it at "Aerial Messages and Flight Services Inc.", in Daytona Beach Florida, you might want to keep on reading.

I'm a JAA Multi-Engine Commercial IFR pilot and I had seen an ad for banner tow pilots in August 2002.
After exchanging several mails with "Aerial Messages", Tim Pacini (HR contactperson) assured me I could get an FAA conversion, a banner tow endorsement and a visa to work in the US. The flight course was supposed to take 4 weeks tops.

Since everything seemed professional, I decided to take my chances and left for Daytona.
I made arrangements to stay at Tim's townhouse and since I arrived on a Sunday, he asked me to get a hotel room and meet him at the office the next day.

So, on Monday November 18th 2002, I was at the office at 9 AM sharp. I waited for Tim to show up and when he finally did, he didn't even know that I was coming (I found out later on that it was quite normal, since he hasn't got a book to schedule you in!!)!

After I paid the $1500 he had me settled in that townhouse in order to cover the fact that I wasn't scheduled.

The banner tow course was supposed to take 1 week. By Friday November 22nd, I had done 11h of ground out of 15 and flown 3h...
Needless to say that I was far from being endorsed!!!

To top that, Mr Pacini then left for 10 days on Thanksgiving vacation, something he "forgot" to mention in his mails...
During those 10 days I was to have my commercial conversion done; which I thought Aerial Messages would take care of (that's if you believe what's written on his last-updated-in-1997 website). Well, no... Another school in Daytona does.
So, his only instructor, Michael Pobiega, made arrangements for me to meet the head of training of that school.

It's there that I first heard of Tim Pacini's reputation. See, many foreign students who had their conversions done at that school, had never gotten their banner tow endorsement from "Aerial Messages", nor a visa. Even worse, they didn't get their money back.

After hearing this and since the school was asking me to redo my private (which would cost me more than expected), I decided to wait for Tim to come back before doing anything else.

The next week, I confronted Tim with those allegations. He showed me a visa, gave me a list of students who got endorsed,....
This had me a little convinced, so I had 2 weeks left to get the commercial conversion and the endorsement.
And if that wasn't enough, the FAA grounded Tim's airplane while he was gone. Since he hasn't got another airplane for training, I had to wait for the plane to be repaired and when that was done, it started raining...

I never got endorsed!

While I was "waiting" for the plane to get fixed, I took the opportunity to investigate on Tim Pacini and his "company". Here's in short what I found:

The guy has been arrested for fraud ( this has been confirmed by a DA), but could not be prosecuted because of lack of evidence...
He hasn't got any money. Once you gave him yours, it's gone. So, even if he wanted to refund it, he couldn't.
He owes money to nearly every pilot that went there.

And finally, here's some advice if you ever get in contact with him or decide to train/work there:

When you get there, he will make you sign a paper that says the $1000 you paid to get scheduled will never be refunded and that if he owes you money he has 60 days to refund it. DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING!!! (It's been over 90 days for me and I still haven't seen a cent!)
Do not give him any money, you will never see it again! If you paid the whole amount already, try to fly as much as possible.
Ask written confirmation and receipts for everything, as he wont give it to you automatically!
If he shows you documents (ex. visa) or lists, check the date because he will show you an old one!
He's got poorly maintained airplanes, so be careful when you fly them.
For the foreign (non-FAA) pilots out there, mind that there's now a verification process at the FAA. You have to fill in a form and send it to the FAA, they make verifications and only if you get a green light from the FAA you are allowed to take the commercial checkride. The process itself can take up to 40 days!

Happy landings,


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/21/2003 11:45 AM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/aerial-messages-inc-tim-pacini/south-daytona-florida-32119/aerial-messages-inc-tim-pacini-ripoff-fraud-lies-thief-banner-towing-screws-everybo-57824. 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. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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