Controversial flight training organisation Soar Aviation was put into administration on 29 December, according to notices published by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) yesterday.
Brendan Richards and James Stewart of Sydney-based KPMG have been appointed as administrators. It is believed the company has debts in the vicinity of $6 million including unpaid aircraft leases.
Soar Aviation was unique in that it used recreational and light sport aircraft like Foxbats, Bristells and Tecnams to deliver training in accordance with the Diploma of Aviation via Box Hill TAFE.
The school ran bases in both Moorabbin and Bankstown, using a fleet of over 50 aircraft. The distinctive yellow of the Moorabbin fleet became somewhat of a trademark for the company.
Founded by Neel Khokhani in 2013, Soar Aviation attracted many students pursuing a professional aviation career, elevating Khokhani to the Australian Financial Review's young rich list in 2019.
However, students began being disillusioned with the level of training they received, lodging complaints that caused the Australia Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) to withdraw Box Hill TAFE's accreditation in January 2020. It was later restored, but the company still faced a class action from students through Gordon Legal.
Soar was also plagued by several high-profile accidents including a the fatal crash of an Aquila A210 south of Orange in November last year and Bristell crashes at Stawell in 2018 and Moorabbin Airport in 2019.
Khokhani resigned as CEO in March last year, but reportedly retained a significant ownership interest in the company.
KPMG has scheduled the first creditors' meeting for 11 January where it will oversee the administration of Double Sunrise Holdings, Gobel Aviation and several other entities associated with Soar Aviation.