School Grounds Planes Following Loss Of Co-Owner
Kemper Aviation, based at Lantana
Airport in south Florida, is at the center of federal
investigations into three fatal accidents in less than six months,
which have killed eight people. The National Transportation Safety
Board is expected to publish probable cause reports about a year
after each accident, and the FAA is conducting a review of the
school's maintenance operation on no particular timetable.
Now, the Associated Press reports two South Florida congressmen
want FAA action against the school immediately. US Representatives
Ron Klein of Boca Raton and Robert Wexler of Delray Beach, both
Democrats, want the FAA to prioritize its review of Kemper
"On its face, with all these accidents, common sense would tell
you this company has some problems and something is wrong," said
Klein, in asking for the expedited investigation. Wexler added the
string of accidents sounded "preventable."
The school is one of the busiest in the nation, yet has
accumulated only three maintenance-related citations from the FAA
in its entire 18-year history -- suggesting the recent fatalities
could be nothing more than a statistical cluster.
After fatal crashes this past October and December, however, a
few current and former students and instructors complained Kemper's
planes were poorly maintained.
If the FAA determines faulty maintenance played a role in the
accidents, it could impose penalties ranging from warnings, to
stiff fines, all the way up to ordering the school shut down.
That may all be moot point. The latest accident, on Thursday,
killed four people, including Jeff Rozelle, co-owner of Kemper
AP reports it was told by a spokesperson the school has grounded
all its planes until further notice.