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Another Flight School Shuts Down...

In San Antonio, Texas, Stinson Air Center abruptly shut down last week and left employees and students high and dry, the Express-News reported on Friday. The flight school, one of the largest in the area, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation, according to the news report. Employees told the Express-News they had shown up ready for work last Thursday and found the doors locked and the offices apparently empty. Stinson Air's chief pilot told the News-Express he was getting calls from students asking about their $20,000 deposits. The news echoes the recent story of an abrupt shutdown at Airline Training Academy in Florida, where several hundred students say they lost thousands of dollars they had put on deposit for flight time. Stinson Air Center had been in operation for four years and offered flying lessons to the public and for students at a nearby college aviation program, as well as warbird training and a program for international students.

...As GA Struggles To Recover

The shutdown at Stinson Air is yet another beat on the drum reminding us that we are a long way from back to normal in the GA business world. Despite efforts to boost morale and accentuate the positive, the tough times are a reality for all too many unemployed workers, besieged small-business owners, and students trying hard to believe they have a future in aviation. In Wichita, planemakers are hanging some hope on the recent tax-cut bill, which includes an incentive that could encourage businesses to invest in new equipment, such as bizjets. "With aircraft sales the way they are, any boost is appreciated," Raytheon Aircraft spokesman Tim Travis told The Wichita Eagle. A similar incentive last year failed to show much of an impact, but this year's offers a bit more of a break -- and a bit more hope. Similar hopes attach another perhaps needier group to a section of H.R. 2115. Specific wording (scroll for Sec. 428) states that, "The Secretary of Transportation may make grants to reimburse" certain GA entities defined in the section "for the security costs incurred and revenue foregone as a result of the restrictions imposed by the Federal Government ..." If that sounds like you, read the section closely ... with your fingers crossed ... and perhaps consider a visit to your preferred place of worship.