By Alton K. Marsh
There are more than 15 helicopters waiting in hangars at Robinson Helicopter with no place to go following the closure of North Las Vegas-based Silver State Helicopters.
Silver State at one time had more than 30 schools in 15 states involving 2,500 students. AOPA’s Pilot Information Center has received 34 calls from students; most of them had signed $69,900 contracts to receive private/instrument through flight instructor certificates, external load proficiency training, and a turbine transition course. They paid for it with loans.
Robinson has 10 to 12 R22 and five R44 helicopters ready for delivery when the school filed for protection under Chapter 7 of the federal bankruptcy law.
The Nevada Consumer Affairs Division has received 20 complaints and is gathering information for a report on the closure. AOPA is furnishing callers with the Internet address of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Nevada. You’ll find an explanation of Chapter 7 bankruptcy here.
AOPA members who are enrolled in the AOPA Legal Services Plan can speak with an attorney. Students need to be careful when contacting attorneys outside the Legal Services Plan. AOPA has two reports of attorneys asking for a retainer fee, and after receiving the nonrefundable fee, telling the students nothing can be done.
February 13, 2008