Part 141 School's fleet blown off the ramp. Is FBO to blame?

labbadabba

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labbadabba
A prominent FBO at KMKC that has already receiving bad press recently has a flight school tenant that uses their ramp and services.

They removed tie downs from the ramp to make the jets happy. They also happen to be hosting a hangar dance and as of this morning, the hangar was completely empty.

In the wee hours a microburst hit the airport totaling 6 Pipers including a Seminole. None of the aircraft appeared to be tied down and none were taken inside despite knowing for days that severe weather was expected.

I'm not sure what arrangement the flight school has with the FBO so I don't know where fault lands but it's a sad situation.
 
Did something similar happen in 2006 at KMKC? Killed a flight school?
 
Not enough information to determine fault.
 
Did the school pay for their aircraft to be hangared? If so, on the FBO.

But if they were in the hangar, and the FBO moved them and did not tie them down. At least partially on the FBO.

I heard it was a fashion show.
 
Did something similar happen in 2006 at KMKC? Killed a flight school?

KC airports, unfortunately, has been hit by several microbursts over the years. OJC has been hit twice - early 2000s and then again around 5 years ago. Not sure about MKC in 2006, though.
 
Agree not enough info, but I’m curious. To whom are these FBOs accountable? What’s the power dynamic like? Do FBOs run the show or are they mostly replaceable?
 
Guessing this school will find a large-type indemnity clause in whatever their deal is with signature and not even get a "dude my bad" over this. Probably a bill for the ramp fee from those jackals.

The school's hull insurance, if any, will be on the hook for it all. And if they haven't adjusted those values up in the last few years, they will not be able to replace their fleet.

Either way I suspect this school is doomed, as their school insurance premiums are gonna double, and those premiums are NOT small to begin with.

They should fold it up and "sell" to a new entity, as "new school" commercial rates will be less than "school with claims" rates.
 
Wondering if the insurance company will try and not pay any claims,they may think there was negligence involved for not having tie downs.
 
Wondering if the insurance company will try and not pay any claims,they may think there was negligence involved for not having tie downs.

No, if they have full insurance, it will be on the insurance co to subrogate against signature if they think there's a case there. The school will get paid promptly for any hull coverage.
 
Tied down or not. If a microburst comes through I'm not sure if it would matter.

Saw that first hand at Addison a few years ago when a storm came through and 3 nearly brand new Archers had the tie downs ripped off the wings while the planes landed upside down in the grass next to the ramp.
 
If the school removed the aircraft from a hangar and left them on a ramp with severe weather forecast there is no question in my mind who is at fault. What exactly do you mean by removed tiedowns? Pulled them out of the concrete or took the ropes away?
 
If the school removed the aircraft from a hangar and left them on a ramp with severe weather forecast there is no question in my mind who is at fault. What exactly do you mean by removed tiedowns? Pulled them out of the concrete or took the ropes away?

The FBO removed them completely so even if the school wanted to tie them down, they couldn't. The school is a tenant of the FBO and utilizes their services. To what degree the FBO is responsible for aircraft on their ramp is up to the lawyers but to have a completely empty hangar (except for decorations for a bra fashion show) and have 13 planes on the other side of the hangar doors upside down on the ramp is not a good look.
 
Tied down or not. If a microburst comes through I'm not sure if it would matter.

MKC doesn't have a ton of small planes on the ramp but no other aircraft were significantly damaged. Interestingly enough, none of the schools' Cessnas flipped. Only the Pipers.
 
The FBO removed them completely so even if the school wanted to tie them down, they couldn't. The school is a tenant of the FBO and utilizes their services. To what degree the FBO is responsible for aircraft on their ramp is up to the lawyers but to have a completely empty hangar (except for decorations for a bra fashion show) and have 13 planes on the other side of the hangar doors upside down on the ramp is not a good look.
Wait, what? A bra fashion show you say?
 
…[to] have 13 planes on the other side of the hangar doors upside down on the ramp is not a good look.

Maybe superficially. Here’s microburst event at KAFF; I was stationed at Ft Carson at the time and remember this well. In hindsight, it’s easy to say this isn’t a good look for USAFA flight programs. Reality is that day wasn’t much different than any other day until a few minutes before the microburst.
 
The FBO removed them completely so even if the school wanted to tie them down, they couldn't. The school is a tenant of the FBO and utilizes their services. To what degree the FBO is responsible for aircraft on their ramp is up to the lawyers but to have a completely empty hangar (except for decorations for a bra fashion show) and have 13 planes on the other side of the hangar doors upside down on the ramp is not a good look.

It’s still not clear to me by what removed means. Did they remove the ropes or somehow cut the actual anchors out of the concrete? Regardless there should be no lawyers involved. The school moved them outside knowing severe weather was coming. End of story.
 
It’s still not clear to me by what removed means. Did they remove the ropes or somehow cut the actual anchors out of the concrete? Regardless there should be no lawyers involved. The school moved them outside knowing severe weather was coming. End of story.

The assertion in various forums, including the local pilots Facebook group, is that the FBO removed the aircraft from the hangar either the night prior or the morning of to make room to setup a fashion show. I've not seen anyone, locally or otherwise, suggest that the flight school itself moved the airplanes to the ramp. In fact, I'd wager that nobody was even present in the flight school when Signature moved and left them outside.
 
It’s still not clear to me...end of story.

Interesting how you can draw a conclusion and confidently assert it to be correct after admitting you do not know or understand the facts in the story.
 
Interesting how you can draw a conclusion and confidently assert it to be correct after admitting you do not know or understand the facts in the story.

To be fair, post 1 and the thread title do much the same.
 
Wondering if the insurance company will try and not pay any claims,they may think there was negligence involved for not having tie downs.
If insurance doesn’t have to pay for negligence, what are they supposed to cover?
 
Back to the tie downs, there weren’t any. The FBO got rid of them long ago, ostensibly to cater more to jet traffic. There was no spot on the ramp with anchors in the pavement to tie a rope to.

To the weather, of course a hangar itself is no guarantee, but it does put odds in your favor. Almost like a pilot, the FBO should be aware of the chance of severe weather. That FBO should be open into the evening some, wasn’t the event a few days out? I don’t think the whole thing was handled well, easier in hindsight of course.
 
Would FAA grant assurances prevent the removal of the tie down hooks? Removing ropes is one thing, but removing the hooks is another.
 
Saw that first hand at Addison a few years ago when a storm came through and 3 nearly brand new Archers had the tie downs ripped off the wings while the planes landed upside down in the grass next to the ramp.
I think we were the second airplane to land after the storm.

20190609_145649.jpg

20190609_153039.jpg
 
What I found interesting was the picture that I saw, was all of the low wing airplanes were flipped over but the high wing airplanes were not.
 
If the FBO moved them they are responsible. If the flight school moved them they take the hit.
 
Back to the tie downs, there weren’t any. The FBO got rid of them long ago, ostensibly to cater more to jet traffic. There was no spot on the ramp with anchors in the pavement to tie a rope to.

This is becoming a "thing" at FBO's which would rather piston aircraft go elsewhere. I've been to two FBO's in Florida this year where there were zero tie-downs - no hooks, no ropes, nothing.
 
One of the airplanes was the one I used for my PP checkride about 18 yrs ago.

I can’t see an N-number, but this might be it:

71B918EB-DCF3-4F4E-9C19-EC5DCE1F9392.jpeg 58A4CAD0-1C8D-493B-AA6C-928A4CA78033.jpeg
 
Can't blame the FBO.

Can't blame the flight school.

Blame the wind...
 
IMG_1545.png IMG_9679_Original.jpeg The 172 in the background on the right was the last flight my grandfather took before he died. I had just gotten my PPL and went back to MKC to fly with him. I thought their prices were pretty steep, and I have no doubt that it will only get worse (if they stay in business) due to this event.
 
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Any update, is the Flight School still in business and did Signature reimburse them for any losses?
 
Agree not enough info, but I’m curious. To whom are these FBOs accountable? What’s the power dynamic like? Do FBOs run the show or are they mostly replaceable?
CAP policy enforced by the lawyers….When we park a CAP airplane and hand the FBO the keys, the FBO is responsible until after we pay any bills and accept the keys.
 
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