Dean International Flight School Shuts Down After Midair Collision

School's owner says closing down is the right thing to do.

dean flight school
The story following the July 17th midair collision continues to evolve.Dean International Flight School

In response to a midair collision involving two of its airplanes, Dean International Flight School has shut down, according to local news sources. On July 17, a Cessna 172 and a Piper Seneca collided killing four people. The flight school opened in 1995, and operated from Miami Executive Airport (TMB) in southeast Florida.

Dean International explained its reasoning for shutting down in a letter to its students, according to a local NBC affiliate. "We pride ourselves on the maintenance of our fleet and the training of our students. Unfortunately, accidents do happen and up to now all the fatal ones have been due to pilot error," the letter said. "These accidents have placed us under a microscope by the FAA and under scrutiny by news media, costing us millions of dollars in expenses."

Dean International has a history of incidents, resulting in a total of nine fatalities, according to NBC. The Miami Herald reported the flight school received 26 FAA incident reports in the last 11 years, a rate of over two per year.

"We can't live with ourselves; the crash devastated us," Robert Dean, the flight school's owner told the Herald. "We had already planned to downsize because the embassies have stopped giving visas to students, but this was the final straw. It's the right thing to do."

The body of the flight school was mostly made up of students from Saudi Arabia, India and Latin America. Robert Dean said students would receive tuition refunds, but how long that process might take is not clear.