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Flight instructor attempts to kidnap and deport student

A pilot at a Californian flight school and his assistant have been arrested after kidnapping and attempting to deport a Chinese flight student back to China. Jonathon McConkey is a pilot, qualified flight instructor and general manager of IASCO Flight Training School. He is alleged to have carried out the kidnapping with his assistant and ground instructor Kelsi Hoser. ( More...

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D Edwards 11
Guess a bit of good old fashioned jail time plus having a felony on his record might help these instructors remember that laws apply to them as well as everyone else.
David Barnes -4
I'm sure they can get a pardon like Sheriff Joe did...
Shenghao Han 28
So, they took the Chinese Airlines money and instead of helping the student with their English deficiency, they are trying to kick the students out, how convenient and simple way to make money eh?
They are making the US look bad, just imagine how much will Chinese media blown his story up in China...
ffrcobra1 14
Yep. I think the flight school’s motto is “we make money the old fashioned way......we steal it.”
It’s a bad reflection on the U.S. and an even worse reflection on the flight training industry.
Kobe Hunte -2
Wow never heard anything like that before.

Although, it always ends up that these Chinese come to the U.S to make a living. And someone ends up trying to kick them out.

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David Barnes 22
"Shi has been in the US on an M-1 visa. The visa is valid for 12 months."

So...he has a visa, why should be be kicked out? How does your world work? The whole point of having rules is that EVERYONE follows the same set. These students seem (from what limited details are given) to have followed the rules pertaining to immigration/residency, and you're defending vigilante "justice" with "THAT'S THE WAY IT WORKS!"

Come now, let's not be so ridiculous.
Kobe Hunte 8
Well put and well said.

I agree one hundred percent David
Kobe Hunte 14
And why did you try to work without a Visa in Switzerland?
You deserved to get kicked out...
This student didn't, he had the right.

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David Barnes 16
You do know that standing on the Southern Border will do nothing to stop Chinese students from arriving with visas in hand, right?
But by all means, go stand out there. Best bring some sunscreen and a bottle of water.
ffrcobra1 5
It's too late for the sunscreen.

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ffrcobra1 12
“If” the instructor knew something and “if” the daughter got pregnant.....and if a frog had legs he wouldn’t bump his ass. We should convict the media of what exactly? Reporting the facts as they are presented in the recording and police report?
Hold on... IF a frog had legs? :)
AWAAlum 1
I had them for dinner last night...hence IF
David Barnes 6
Glad to know the entire judicial system is redundant to vigilantism.
alex hidveghy 3
You are making GROSS assumptions to try and support your theory. But you fail. Miserably. Again, you know NOTHING about how these schools in the US operate. It is NOT the individual instructor that is the sponsor for a start. Please, don't keep embarrassing yourself because of your lack of knowledge..............
alex hidveghy 2
What a stupid politicized response! Only from a right winger, huh? Tell us all how many Chinese are lined up on the southern border? Also, you CLEARLY have ZERO knowledge of how these international flight schools are run. I do!
Kobe Hunte -4
He obviously did something to get the instructor irate.
Ron Andersen 7
"He is alleged to of carried out the kidnapping" - back to journalism school for you, Mr Pearce.

Also, "McConkey and Hoser were arrested with Conspiracy and Kidnapping", should read "McConkey and Hoser were arrested FOR Conspiracy and Kidnapping". When will journalists wake up to the fact that credibility drains right out of your article when you get basic English usage like this wrong?
chalet 6
Yep, another fine example of the UGLY AMERICAN taken to one of the most absurd extremes. And the results is that these sorry monkeys passing for pilots instructors are going to loose all the Business that these unsuspecting Chinese were bringing.
Leon Kay 8
Hi you guys, just calm down and stop running the other subscribers down about their "English deficiency" and political views. The comment that "everyone is entitled to believe anything you want, and to express those beliefs" is correct. Those people do not belong on this website. There is an appropriate platform for that, called "Facebook". Several of the slanderous remarks spoil this great Aviation News platform. Please be more tolerant towards other subscribers whose home language is not English - like myself. Leon Kay, South Africa.
Kobe Hunte 1

Recor10 got himself quite a bad reputation already.
If you check his profile he most of his comments are slanderous to other people that have a passion for aviation
Jim Welch 3
No words.
Well, just one.
McConkey should have his licence lifted. This is disgusting behavior. It should not be tolerated by anyone.
mikeNY 1
JONATHAN MCCONKEY = ATP = "be of good moral character" ... ?
brianroyal 4
Dude looks like James Woods' ugly brother.
Kevin Haiduk 7
Man - it sucks when this site turns political.
Rob Ainscough 0
Why Kevin? Politics controls our lives, why should it be Taboo to discuss? BTW, I got to this site via eMail from foreflight with a link. Sure politics can be dividing, but what's better "hide the divide" or discuss it openly?

Obviously the divide has been hidden a little too long and has erupted into bias, hate, violence, racism … don't you think talking about racism/fear is better than just propagating in semi-silence. What do these people "fear" that would cause them to kidnap a student? Even in this thread you can see the racism coming out from a few (minority) … we have a serious problem in the US, it needs to be sorted out or there will be civil war.

Truth/Facts do exist and we need to move away from what "we want to believe" vs. what is actually happening and/or happened. Crying "Fake news" and "Deep state" is just avoidance of reality. It's everyone's responsibility to determine "truth" from "lies" and "Fact" from "Fiction" … that's why democracy has the "rule of law". Verifiable sources, cross referencing source, getting multiple sources, etc. etc. standard process of due diligence. Something good Pilots should practice every day they fly.
joel wiley 2
For more information on the company, here is their website:

and their facebook page:
AWAAlum 7
Being an American today doesn't fill me with the pride it once did. It's a world gone mad.
treborselpats 5
There is more to this story. Neither student's account of what led up to the incident makes any sense. Too many foreign students do not understand the requirements of being a proficient pilot...including the ability to master english in flight training. The assumption by many of these foreign students is once the pay they should pass without earning their progress. I'm certain more will come out later.......some students are never meant to be pilots.
Tyler Emtage 5
If you want to find out anything more, just click on the link.
These people apparently threatened, assaulted, and worse to a student. So, are you justifying what was alleged to happen here because a student did not speak English? Regardless of his progress, they were being paid $90,000 a year to train him. One can pay for a lot of English tutors at that price. I truly don't understand your point here.
Kobe Hunte 4
Well said...
btweston 6
Sounds like a couple of Trump-empowered racists living out their twisted fantasies.

Sadly, nothing new these days.
Yeah, it's all Trump's fault. ...smh ...
alex hidveghy -1
Sure sounds like it or have you been asleep at the wheel and need reminding of some of his PUBLIC rants the past 2 years????
Are you going to deny all those now? It's public record and everyone knows it, except the diehard who are deaf to common sense and facts.
Kobe Hunte 2
Very true
Kris Durbin 2
When I first read this story posted somewhere else online, I was sure this article was an Onion article. Hilarious!
Kobe Hunte -1
Leandro Vale 1
Chris B 1
If English proficiency or comprehension is the issue, that's fixable if the right tools are used.

Anyone whose flown into LAX/JFK etc, will hear multiple different levels of proficiency and accents in a short space of time. Tuning into them is a skill set that ATC has to acquire.

There are times, when the schedule is heavy that its dangerous to traffic if the Pilot cannot properly acquire the instructions they are being given first time. There is a teachable moment here.
George Cottay 1
How did this dead horse again make its way to life?
Kobe Hunte 1
Wow you took a while to reply!
gordon turner 0
"Yi was grounded 3 weeks ago. He believes it was due to allowing a friend to use his restroom at his home" Translation: He had 15 people living in his apartment, charging them each $2000/mo. "Police posted on The Facebook...." like a 3rd grader would... jeez.
joel wiley 10
Sorry, but the only thing Redding Police posted as this report:

DATE May 25th, 2018 TIME 1:00 P.M.

CASE# 18-36915
You can follow the case here:

Zhang Xun Yi is not mentioned in the Redding Police report.
Having trouble figuring out if you are using fake news or alternative facts.
David Barnes 6
His name and account are in the original article, describing a pattern of behavior (intimidation of Chinese/foreign students) by the instructors in question. It doesn't mention any criminal acts against him, though.
Kobe Hunte 1
there goes their monthly earnings!
Iain Robertson -4
I believe the use of the term "Trump-empowered racists" is infamatory and comes from a troll.
While we don't know the motivation of these accused people, this statement aligns with the rhetoric that Trump has spouted many times: “Your ass is getting on the plane right now or I’ll break your (profanity) arm. You better believe I’m (profanity) threatening you. And the United States government needs you out of this country right now, you understand?” the male voice says.

I see nothing inflammatory about pointing it out.
Kobe Hunte 5
ffrcobra1 -2
Do you think there were “some very fine people on both sides”? 🙄
joel wiley 6
If there were, it appears the two arrested subjects were not among them.
joel wiley 2
You are certainly entitled to believe anything you want, and to express those beliefs. Others have the right to different beliefs.

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David Barnes 14
You do realize that the Supreme Court disagrees with your assertion that the Bill of Rights is only applicable to US Citizens?

See and related (cited) SCOTUS cases.
Kobe Hunte 6
Recor10 you just need to keep your comments to yourself obviously and listen to David.
ffrcobra1 3
No, no, no! He needs to keep commenting. It’s very entertaining and enlightening.

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Kobe Hunte 6
Come on man,
All your garbage talk is not really necessary.
Our borders all are secure.
And why should you have the same rights as other citizens?
As you said earlier, you were trying to work in Switzerland without a permit or a visa. And yet, you should have the same rights as other citizens...

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Kobe Hunte 1
whatever, same goes to you.

All the main borders of the US is pretty locked down!
RECOR10 -7
I was born in Texas and live in, our borders are not locked down. Cant speak so much for Canada. In FL and most of Texas - border control is almost as effective as birth control in a ghetto.
David Barnes 7
You worried about those Georgians rushing into Florida? (Actually, it's probably the Alabamians, but let's not pick nits).

Considering the only land border Florida has that you can stand on is with other US states which requires no border control, wondering what "border" you're referring to in Florida?
sensfan2513 4
Faulty education system in TX & FL, apparently.
alex hidveghy 3
TX and FL, huh? That says all we need to know. Thanks.
Rob Ainscough 4
Do you live in California? I do, many years, what's this "mess" you claim exists? California is the 5th largest economy in the WORLD. It is one of the most climate change progress states in the US. California has been operating with a budget surplus for the last 3 years. Economically speaking California doesn't need the "united states" or a federal government, BUT the Federal Government DOES need California for the taxes revenue. California has the highest Gross production 2,847 which is almost 2X higher than the next closest state which is Texas followed by New York. If this is considered a "mess" then what do you consider good?
alex hidveghy 2
You have quite a rhetoric, don't you? Ever considered you could be wrong? Spouting for its own sake are not actual facts. Get a grip.
royr2 1
I'm with you. Some extremist idiots decide to be rude to an immigrant that's here legally, and somehow it's Trump's fault? People, let's keep the MSM politics off of this site, for the love of God.
Kobe Hunte 1
A lot of it is not Trumps fault..
But he is kind of the one that drove the thought into the whole of American peoples minds that immigrants are immigrants and they shouldnt be here. Even if legally.
AWAAlum 3
Go back far enough, we're all immigrants.
Dan Grelinger 2
Yes. But those who want to confuse the matter do not make clear distintions between legally immigrated and unlawfully immigrated.
Kobe ... where in the hell did you come up with THAT gem???

I voted for Trump ... but I don't blindly follow him like a damn zombie. LONG BEFORE he was elected, I believed Illegals should be deported, and LEGAL - L E G A L - immigrants should be given every chance to make a life here. My great grandmother ran across a field in Lithuania with Russian soldiers taking pot shots at her in order to escape, and be FREE. She did so LEGALLY.

Trump didn't drive ANYONE to believe LEGAL immigrants shouldn't be here. Lay off the CNN for a bit, buddy.
Rob Ainscough 1
You would think that people who fly are very aware it's ONE WORLD they fly in … I just don't understand the fear that flows in the US? I'm actually dual citizenship, UK/US and have spent most of my life in California but have travelled the world (Pakistan, Bahrain, Iraq, England, Canada, US, Netherlands, and a few other countries) … but where did all this US fear and entitlement come from? US doesn't have the highest standard of living (8th), but it's in the top 10 (Norway at #1 spot) … so why is their so much fear and hate in the US? It baffles me … I just have to keep reminding myself that the Trump supporters are still only 38% of the voted population.
Jim Welch 2
Racist bigotry has been something to be ashamed of.
The president himself has opened Pandora’s box, and it is uglier than anyone could have imagined.
AWAAlum 1
Among those countries you mention, and some others, several have been engaged in wars for generations. It's all they know. Our entitlement, valid or not, I would imagine, comes from being a world leader and up until recently, never having been victims until 9/11 and numerous terrorist attacks on our soil since then, in my opinion, entitles us to fear. I don't necessarily live in fear day-to-day, but it's never far from my mind that we aren't as safe as we once believed.
C'mon ladies! Get off the cross, we need the wood. Don't let national 'news' reporting on the bottom 1% overcome what you can see and feel. In my neighborhood, U.S. flags fly proudly, people wave, say please and thank you, and a young lady held the door for me last week. If there's something wrong in your neighborhood, fix it. Pay it forward, pick up some litter, give up a parking spot, help someone! Don't let politicians and 'entertainers' define *our* culture. Everything's just fine here in Divide, Colorado, and all are welcome. (First 10 Chinese airmen get a drink on me at my watering hole.)
AWAAlum 1
It's about time we had a cheerleader show up. (C'mon ladies?)
camelotlab 1
Apparently you don’t think or realize Hawaii is “our soil” or perhaps Pearl Harbor in your opinion wasn’t an attack on our soil as well as all the many others throughout our history:
Attacks on mainland U.S. or organized incorporated U.S. territories
American Revolutionary War 1775–1780 (Perpetrator: Great Britain)
American Indian Wars 1775–1918 (Perpetrator: Insurgent American Indian Tribes)
War of 1812 1812–1815 (Perpetrator: Great Britain)
Thornton Affair April 26, 1846 (Perpetrator: Second Federal Republic of Mexico)
Mexican–American War 1846–1848 (Perpetrator: Second Federal Republic of Mexico)
American Civil War 1861-1865 (Perpetrator: Confederate States of America)
Black Tom explosion July 30, 1916 (Perpetrator: German Empire)
Battle of Columbus 1916 (Perpetrator: Villista Insurgents)
Bombardment of Orleans 1918 (Perpetrator: German Empire)
Battle of Ambos Nogales 1918 (Perpetrator: Improvised Mexican civilian voluntaries)
Bombing of Naco 1929 (Perpetrator: Escobar rebels)
Attack on Pearl Harbor December 7, 1941 (Perpetrator: Empire of Japan)
American Theater (World War II) 1941–1945 (Perpetrator: Axis powers)
1993 shootings at CIA Headquarters January 25, 1993 (Perpetrator: A Lone-wolf Muslim extremist)
1993 World Trade Center bombing February 26, 1993 (Perpetrator: Al-Qaeda)
Oklahoma City bombing April 19, 1995 ( Perpetrator: Domestic terrorists)
September 11 attacks on New York City, New York; Arlington, Virginia; and Shanksville, Pennsylvania September 11, 2001 (Perpetrator: Al-Qaeda)
Boston Marathon Bombing April 15, 2013
Attacks on U.S. unincorporated territories
Japanese invasion of the Philippines 1941–1945
Battle of Guam 1941
Battle of Wake 1941
Battle of Midway 1942
How about you remember another famous quote from FDR:
“Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself”
AWAAlum 1
Perhaps you didn't think or realize Hawaii was not a state when the attack occurred at Pearl Harbor.

Although I guess I have to give you a gold star for one-upsmanship ... but a demerit for verbosity.
Dan Grelinger 1
It seems obvious to me that there is much more to this story than has been reported. Making conclusions based on the limited information is 'assuming' which I learned years ago, involves making an ass of oneself.

I would not assume that the Chinese man's Chinese airline sponsor wanted him to complete his flight training. I can conceive of a reasonable scenario where the flight school, being a contractor to the Chinese airline, was told to send the guy home. Knowing that they would not be paid further for his lessons (and quite likely, flight school provided lodging), and interested in protecting their business relationship, may have taken extreme measures to send him home.

For those that don't know, proficiency in English is REQUIRED of all pilots world wide. Don't blame the U.S.. If you feel you must blame someone for this perceived injustice, blame the British, they invented English.

I can't say what the motivation behind all of this was, but neither can anyone else, so making judgements of people without all the facts is irrresponsible.
Kenneth Seals 1
Well said
Wow, I joined the GA pilot community to be part of a higher (highest?) civilian standard. It's a toss up which is the bigger let down, some of these comments or 1 flight instructor gone mad. Don't fret folks, U.S. is still the greatest country, just ask 'anyone' not living here. I listened to the raw audio. IMHO, no racism, just a hot-head narcissistic flight instructor deluded into thinking he represents the gov't immigration service (alcohol? brain tumor?). Should have handled with respect and decorum, as with all things American. Both will face appropriate charges. My apologies to Chinese air-men and women, stay the course, keep coming to the U.S. for the best pilot training in the world, this is an isolated incident. Where's the story about thousands of Chinese pilots successfully trained in CA? If you need a refresher in respect and decorum, GO NAVY! Fast Boat Sonarman and Diver. Peace-out.
Dan Grelinger 2
Most of the posters to these forums are not pilots.
Thanks Dan - what a relief!
Ray Rogoway 0
Trump's Airforce
Assuming the fee noted is reasonably accurate, the is ample room for limited aviation language training. The school should also have a rider to recover extra tutor costs.
Appears to me to be a poorly chosen instructor or administrator.
The school should have an up-front aviation language filter course to weed out these problems!


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