Multiple students sue flight school after it closes abruptly

Investigators look at the remains of a small plane along Main St, Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016, in East Hartford, Conn., a day following the plane's crash. The FBI is taking over as lead investigator in the deadly crash of a small plane carrying a flight instructor and a student pilot because of indications that it might have been a criminal act, safety officials said Wednesday. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH / AP) — That East Hartford flight school that had two deadly crashes, one in East Hartford and the other in East Haven, is now facing civil lawsuits. Arslan Mamiliyev was a student pilot at the school for only two weeks when the first crash happened.

He and two other students have filed a lawsuit to try and get their money and dreams back. Three students are suing the American Flight Academy. They say they paid $28,000 to $39,000 apiece for commercial pilot training but were far short of the required training hours when the Hartford-based school closed abruptly in April. Mamiliyev says he paid $39,000 upfront to become a pilot and now the school is closed.

“I have dreamed to be a pilot since my childhood so it has been my biggest dream to become a pilot…I cannot explain, I am frustrated. I am angry. I’m mad because I paid that kind of money and I lost it,” said Mamiliyev.

Mamiliyev says not only are they out the money, but their visas have been revoked as well.

“I’m forced to go home because the school terminated my status so not to be illegal here, I have to leave regardless that there is a lawsuit and the school owes me money,” he said.

So he and the other students have hired Attorney Michael Peck in hopes of getting their money back.

“The student don’t just have a lot of options to go to daddy and go to another school so easily. I mean, they put it all out there to finish this program, so the bottom line is that they have been twisting slowly in the wind for the last two months,” he said.

The two other students, one from Ecuador and one from Peru, have also lost their visa and are ordered to leave the United States.

They will have to rely on Attorney Peck to fight for them.

News 8 did knock on the door of the owner of the flight school, but there was no answer.

School owner Arian Prevalla and its lawyer didn’t return messages seeking comment.

Authorities are investigating the two crashes. A student was killed and Prevalla survived a wreck in East Hartford in October. Prevalla told authorities the student crashed the plane on purpose. Another student was killed in a crash in East Haven in February.

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