Taylorcraft Aviation LCC has filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy

The paperwork, filed Oct. 13, lists 23 creditors who are seeking a combined total of $847,400. The city of Brownsville, Texas, is listed as the largest creditor with a total of $108,000 owed for back rent for city-owned hangar space at Brownsville-South Padre Island International Airport. Other creditors include the Internal Revenue Service, First National Bank in Olmito and several private individuals who paid money to Taylorcraft for airplanes, parts, restorations or other services, but did not get what they paid for.

After a story about the latest round of troubles at Taylorcraft was published in our Oct. 6 issue (Trials and tribulations at Taylorcraft Aviation: Owner Harry Ingram faces eviction, lawsuits and a mountain of debt), we have been inundated with telephone calls from people who stated they gave money to the company but did not get what they paid for. Several told us that when they called the factory for information, they were given excuses from Taylorcraft President Harry Ingram and factory employees.

One woman said that Ingram told her it would take eight months to rebuild her late husband’s aircraft, which she planned to use to scatter his ashes. Instead, Ingram had the aircraft for 32 months. She said that when she spoke to Ingram on Oct. 9, he claimed the aircraft would be flying by Oct. 13. She credited our story with alerting her to the problems at Taylorcraft. She has since arranged for her aircraft to be retrieved from the factory. The plane is now in the hands of another restoration company, which is trying to determine what parts are missing.

One gentleman from Oregon told us he visited the factory in May 2006 and put down a $31,000 deposit for an aircraft. After reading our story he contacted an attorney to help him get his money back.

The $847,400 figure may rise as more people come forward with similar claims.

During an interview on Oct. 9, Ingram insisted that Taylorcraft was fine, and stated that he was expecting an influx of cash by Oct. 13. While the city of Brownsville had filed eviction papers on the company, Ingram said he had no intention of vacating the company’s facilities at the airport.

The city of Brownsville is moving forward with the eviction process.

Taylorcraft Aviation moved to Brownsville in the spring of 2005 from La Grange, Texas.

At the time, there were complaints about poor customer service and cash flow issues in La Grange as well, but apparently these did not register with the Greater Brownsville Incentives Corp., which gave the company an incentive package — including $85,000 in taxpayers’ money — to come to Brownsville.

Because Ingram failed to file the right paperwork when the company relocated, Taylorcraft does not have approval from the FAA to manufacture either airplanes or parts. In addition, the company’s corporate charter was revoked in 2004 by the state of Texas for failure to pay taxes. Since the charter was lost, Ingram may be personally responsible for the company’s debts.

A recent article in the Brownsville Herald newspaper noted that Harry Ingram’s name is not on the documents filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Instead his wife, Darlene, is listed as president. On previous documents, such as the GBIC contract, Harry Ingram was listed as the company president. Darlene Ingram was listed as a manager.

The case will be adjudicated in the Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of Texas in Corpus Christi. Case number is 06-10676.

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