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Flyers Grounded As Centre Folds

Dozens of people who received flying lessons as a Christmas present have lost their money after Coventry Helicopter Centre went into liquidation.

Managers of the company based at Coventry Airport called in administrators shortly after Christmas, and it was formally liquidated last week.

This means that people who bought vouchers for trips or lessons face losing their money.

Tony Long of liquidators Kay Johnson Gee said the company had “negligible assets” and it was “very unlikely” that members of the public would be able to get their money back.

He said:

“I’ve had a few calls fro people and all I can advise them is to contact their credit card company if they paid for the lessons by credit card as they should be able to get a refund from tem.

“But those who didn’t pay by credit card are unlikely to get any money back.”

He said people who had lessons booked as part of a NVQ course were being contacted, as the Coventry Helicopter Centre had some record of these customers.

But when lessons were bought as a present there is no way of getting in touch with the people expecting to fly.

Gary Jones, an IT worker from Stafford, is one of the people to have lost out and said the closure had ruined the chance of a lifetime after about £300 worth of lessons was bought for him as a birthday present.

Mr Jones said:

“I was 30 on 22 December and my girlfriend clubbed together with the rest of the family to buy me a lesson.

“It was something I’ve always wanted to. It was a full lesson and I was really looking forward to it.”

The centre was saved from closure in 1999 when Adrian and Deborah Hobbs from Hinckley bought the business.

Mr Hobbs had taken flying lessons to conquer his fears of heights, and ended up taking over at the firm after selling his successful recruitment business to Securicor.

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CWN / Business / A-Z / Coventry Helicopter Centre / 16 Jan 01

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This page modified on 10 November 2008 09:49:15AM