Flight Schools Are Grounded

A Federal Aviation Administration ban is causing a financial strain on flight schools in Mississippi. Student pilots and their instructors are grounded, causing the schools to lose thousands of dollars a day. The ban is affecting Douglas Aviation Incorporated in Olive Branch, Apollo Aviation Company in Gulfport, as well as other schools.

Douglas Aviation spokesman Harold Spillars says the school may have to shut down its maintenance facility. Spillars says mechanics could be laid off if the ban is not lifted by the end of the week. Flight instructors, paid hourly, are living without income. The ban on aviation came after last week's terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The ban has been lifted for instrument and agriculture flights.

While commercial airlines operate under instrument flight rules, most flight training is done under visual flight rules, which means flying without constant contact with the tower. The F-A-A has not said when the ban will be lifted.