One week after the body of a pilot who trained at a South Florida aviation school was discovered near a downed plane, another plane from that same school made a crash landing in Key Biscayne.
The two people on board were no seriously injured in Friday’s incident. The crash was the most recent in an unusually high pattern of incidents originating from Dean International Flight School. Last week, Mark Ukaere was killed when his unauthorized flight crashed in the Everglades. Ukaere’s body was discovered near the plane with an alligator creeping close by.
One week later, most of the school’s planes were temporarily out of service, NBC 6 exclusively confirmed. Thirty-nine out of 50 planes were place into maintenance, at least nine by the order of the Federal Aviation Administration.
Some of the maintenance work is routine, but others include rudder issues, faulty brakes and loose or missing screws.
In an exclusive interview, the owner of the Dean International told NBC 6 the bigger the school, the more issues.
"If you're operating an operation like this, 50 aircraft, 60,000 miles per year, if you take our average and another schools' average, we're in a heck of a good shape," owner Robert Dean said.
NBC 6 uncovered and sifted a stack of documents obtained by the FAA and the National Transportation and Safety Board, which showed lengthy reports of planes that went down. Since 2007, the school logged a total of 29 accidents or incident – including 5 fatalities.
Dean defended the school, saying that despite the issues many students attend the school because it is one of the best aviation centers.