Were you at The Academy at LAL when it closed?


New Member
Remember how you felt when you discovered The Academy at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport (LAL) had closed its doors?

On 2/28/03, Aviation Training Academy in Orlando closed its doors and the owners disappeared with millions of dollars of the students' tuition and living expense money. Most of the students had borrowed this money from Key Loans, Sallie Mae, etc. The former students of ATA have organized to pursue legal recourse against the Williams Gang (the family that owned ATA).

We desperately need to talk to students who were at The Academy at LAL when it closed in Dec. 2001 or Jan. 2002.

What we need to know is what happened about your loans. We need to know what precedent the loan companies set in handling your loans before our attorney talks to our lenders.

Who did you have your loan with?

Were you still required to pay the loans?

Did the loan companies let students off the hook and go after the money themselves?

Since there are several different loan companies used by flight school students, we need to hear what happened with each lender.

If you know how to reach other pilot trainees who were with you, please contact them and ask them to reply to this post ASAP. You may reply directly to our e-mail address
We need to know by Sunday night, March 23, 2003.

Your help is greatly appreciated.

PS If you would like to follow our progress, go to
Our bulletin board is called redtrainer because we were identified in radio communications as "redtrainer + plane no."
Is this class action at this point or just gathering information?
Not yet a class action. First the lawyer will deal with the lenders because students are in dire straits. What legal action happens after that is not yet written in stone.
You really cant form a class action suit in cases like these from my experiences with "Airline" Training Academy

Due to students who were in different parts of the training program not all students are suing for the same amount of money which throws a class action out of the window.. I am not a lawyer by any means I'm just sharing my experience with ATA's lawyers and procedures.