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Flight school involved in Everglades crash has troubled record

Former employee calls for FAA to investigate

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – At least one of the planes in Tuesday's fatal midair collision was emblazoned with the words "Dean International" -- a flight school operating out of Miami Executive Airport.

In May, there was another crash involving one of its planes. The people onboard survived. 

Before that, there were other incidents in Key Biscayne and a fatal wreck in the Everglades.

Michael Wanek said he was a flight instructor at Dean International for five years and said he's concerned about these recent wrecks.

"I am concerned with the quantity of accidents, incidents and these maintenance discrepancies that I see, and I think that the (Federal Aviation Administration) should really look into this," Wanek said.

He said maintenance records show issues such as loose screws and corrosion. He can't say those issues are by comparison worse than at other flight schools, but he thinks federal investigators ought to be thorough. 

Records show in the last decade that there have been about two dozen incidents involving the school that have required investigation.

"I think any normal person would be concerned when they see the record," Wanek said. "What can we do to stop these accidents? What can we do to stop the fatalities?"

About the Author:

Janine Stanwood joined Local 10 News in February 2004 as an assignment editor. She is now a general assignment reporter. Before moving to South Florida from her Washington home, Janine was the senior legislative correspondent for a United States senator on Capitol Hill.