Crash Prompts Flight School's Refocus
A fatal crash involving one of its students has prompted a Florida flight school to accelerate the closure of its primary flight-training department. Gulfstream Academy of Aeronautics will continue to offer advanced training to existing pilots who want to work for the airlines but it's no longer taking private, commercial, multi- and instrument-rating students. There are about 20 students working on those ratings now and they will be sent to other schools, with Gulfstream picking up any difference in cost. Gulfstream President Mark Ottosen said the fatal crash two weeks ago speeded up the plans. "With this incident, it's just a good time to change our focus and move on," he said. Commercial student Johnny Mark Willey was flying one of the school's Cessna 172s on June 17 when it collided head-on with a 182 at about 1,100 feet about a half-mile offshore of the Deerfield Beach International Fishing Pier. Willey, his wife Susan and their daughter Shelbi, both on their first flight with Willey, died, as did the occupants of the 182, Steve Ross and Douglas Bauer.