John & Martha King Held at Gunpoint by mistake...


2 minutes of research by Santa Barbara Police would have prevented this… … kings.html

Podcast with Martha King


Took me 15 seconds to find out the 150J’s registration was cancelled 5 years ago.

Serve and protect :open_mouth: .


That’s pretty ridiculous. You’d think that on an IFR flight plan they’d know it was a 172, but as was said above, 2 minutes of research. . .


I haven’t seen it yet, who contacted the PD to report this aircraft was stolen? I’ve never heard of local PD getting this involved in something like this.


At the least they should have given Martha a new hairdo while they had her cuffed! :wink:


Here’s the flight: … /KMYF/KSBA

It was later learned by John King that the information came from the El Paso Intelligence Center, which was initially created under the Drug and Enforcement Administration to stop drug traffic, but was given additional duties to stop terrorists after the attacks on New York and Washington, D.C., in 2001.

El Paso Intelligence Center

Gives new meaning to the phrase “EPIC FAILURE”


This stinks. I feel bad for John, Martha & the Cessna guy. At least somebody could apologize to them.


In the vein of JHEM’s comment above, I would like an apology for Ralph Machado’s jokes included in some of the King videos. I joke, but I have and am a fan of the videos.

In reality though, I agree a little bit of research would’ve probably prevented this. Especially since the N-number had been removed from the 152 so long ago.

The only defense I could think of though, is that, suppose the 152 went across the border and then the number was deregistered. This doesn’t mean the aircraft was repainted with a new tail number. It could easily still be flying around with that tail number.
So I guess I can understand the fact that they are still on the lookout. However, that was a 152 and this was a 172. I know to the untrained eye this is the same airplane, BUT this shouldn’t be the untrained eye looking either


Stay on topic. Banter Thread for political banter.


John & Martha’s blog… John speaks.


He brings up a good point about aircraft shouldn’t be treated as a high risk traffic stop. Very interesting, and too bad it came to all that trouble.


The SB police did the right thing, based on the information they had at the time. They were alerted by the Feds that stolen airplane N50545 was inbound their location. They will execute a felony stop the same way, whether it’s a plane, train or automobile.

The screw-up here was all on EPIC. They’re operating with bad data.


That and why was there no coordination between the FAA and EPIC or the FBI (whoever) to remove the flag on the tail number before reissuing into another aircraft.

I do think though that they should’ve been a bit more cautious since the aircraft types didn’t match. Yes they’re street officers who chances are wouldn’t know the difference, but as Mr King said, they owe it to them if they’re going to point loaded guns at their head to be correct.


any truly guilty suspect would most likely spot the police cars, as we did, before they pulled into the parking area, realize what is happening, and simply take off

Good point.

I hope EPIC will pay the Kings to reregister and repaint their airplane. Actually this should have been done the first time it was apprehended. Why reissue the registration of a stolen plane anyway ? Not like there’s a shortage of N-numbers.



To address your first paragraph, the articles that I’ve read seem to suggest that EPIC re-listed 50545 as stolen on their own. A 5-second check of the FAA registry would have shown otherwise. De-registered is de-registered, as far as the FAA is concerned, it would appear.

Street cops shouldn’t be expected to know the difference between one high-wing, single-engine airplane designed in the 1950s from another high-wing, single-engine airplane designed in the 1950s. Besides, they weren’t told that they were looking for a C150, a C172, a B747 or a Cylon Raider. They were told “stolen aircraft bearing registration N50545” was heading their way. If they get the call that stolen car BR-549 is coming their way, they’re not going to split hairs about whether it’s a Ford Taurus or a Mercury Sable. They’re going to execute a felony stop on vehicle bearing license plate BR-549, and apprehend the occupants pending an investigation.


[quote=“dude above me”] BR-549

The license plate from the pick-up in Hee-Haw. Also a pretty good band, look’em up on iTunes. They do a good re-make of the bluegrass song “knoxville girl”


Did you just make a Hee-Haw reference??? :laughing:


The license plate from the pick-up in Hee-Haw. Also a pretty good band, look’em up on iTunes. They do a good re-make of the bluegrass song “knoxville girl”

Yep and yep.

I was going to use THX-138. (Note: NOT THX-1138)

Everybody with me on that one?


The license plate from the pick-up in Hee-Haw. Also a pretty good band, look’em up on iTunes. They do a good re-make of the bluegrass song “knoxville girl”

:laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :laughing:


I’ve wanted that car since the first time I saw it!