Consider this a cautionary tale for putting money down upfront for flight training. Wells Fargo Bank filed suit last week against Langa Air and its principals for breach of contract after the school went out of business almost a year ago and took student deposits with it.
Although Scott Langa, the principal owner of the East St. Louis-based flight school, said he had invested more than $155,000 of his own money, the school was forced to close under what it said were hard economic times.
But before it closed, Langa Air employed a traditional tactic of asking students to put down money first in exchange for discounted aircraft rental prices. When the school closed without warning, many students were out tens of thousands of dollars, and now Wells Fargo is suing on their behalf for more than $172,000.
According to the complaint, Langa Air said students who paid for the entire course up front would be guaranteed a job flight instructing at the company after obtaining all the certificates, and the money would be held in dedicated accounts. Allegedly the money was not kept separate.
Langa Air’s abrupt closure is the latest in a long string of flight schools closing with thousands of dollars worth of student deposits.