American Flight Academy: Aviation Community Invited to Join Mourning

NBC Connecticut

The school of the deceased flying student who intentionally downed a plane in East Hartford this week is inviting the aviation community to join them in mourning. 

"Those that want to tell or hear stories, those that need to be comforted, those that can help are all invited," American Flight Academy wrote on its Facebook on Friday.

On Tuesday, the student pilot identified as Feras M. Freitekh and the instructor Arian Prevella got into some kind of argument or struggle while flying a twin-engine plane, a law enforcement official told NBC News. Freitekh was at the controls during the time of the crash, the official said. 

Prevalla, the owner of American Flight Academy in Hartford, escaped from the burning plane and treated at the hospital. Freitekh was found dead inside the charred remains of the plane, officials said. 

The Facebook post from the school noted that it will not be commenting on the accident, but instead, wanted to focus on the grief linked to the tragedy. 

"I would like to look inward to our aviation community to help us grieve for the loss of a young man that so many loved and cared about. We will never understand why he did what he did," the post reads.

"It is difficult to look back and think to ourselves, 'what could I have done?' The answer to that question is 'nothing'." 

The school explains how members of the aviation community fly for different reasons: delivery packages, transporting people, conducting flight training, or recreational flying. 

"Everday people look up and see airplanes in the sky."

The statement says that most people do not know the complexities of keeping an aircraft operating safely, which is why people often want to find a "villain" for incidents like the East Hartford crash. 

"Since something like this is so rare it is easy to want to point fingers and try to find a reason for the madness. People that don’t know any better want to find, or create, a villain that almost never exists."

The school calls on members of the aviation community to mourn and support each other. Grief counselors will be made available for anyone, the school said. 

Contact the Hartford Jet Center for information on a time and date of the event and leave a name and how many people will be attending.

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