Long story short. Late Friday night, a car made its way onto our ramp through an open gate. Our Warrior was tied down. Previous student of mine was working on his plane in the main hanger. He heard a loud bang and went out to investigate. He saw a car speeding off and managed to get the first 3 of its tag number. He walked down to the line and the tail of our Warrior was in shambles. (elevator, rear fuselage, etc.) Local law enforcement is dragging their feet. I read that this could be a federal offense. Do I need to take it to the federal level or will this be considered “Not that big of deal”. Any advice would be appreciated.
Since there have been no replies, I will. I think it is a big deal as your plane was damaged and I would think it also a big deal if LE is not working on your behalf. I wish you would have given (or give) more info., as to what airport, state and town you are in. I would call the Chief/Sheriff or whoever is top dog directly and multiple times asking for updates or an explanation why they are not pursuing this - maybe there are pursuing this and have not told you? Maybe their not because it was someone they know? I would also call or fax repair shops in greater area and let them know what happened and be on the look out. I would contact the newspaper and ask them to run a story. And I would send email to my friends and family and ask them to forward my email. Also, if you are not getting assistance from LE, I would make sure the paper and your email stated the same. If there is insurance involved, maybe they have an investigator that can work on your behalf. And I would call the FAA as well.
Please post follow-ups. To many of these threads have no conclusion.
And good luck!
Why was a gate left open overnight? That wouldn’t go over too well at my home field.
Sorry about your Warrior, hopefully your insurance company will cooperate.
Well, there is a private entity on the field and the car apparently came in and went out of their gate. From what I found, there are no regs governing GA airport perimeter security. There are, however, “guidelines” set forth by TSA. This happened on Oct. 4th and the report was not available until Oct. 10th. (6 days). I was told that once the report was complete that an officer could go with me to our annex building and we could request a list of vehicles that had license plates with the three beginning numbers/letters the witness described. When I requested this , I was told that a detective was looking in the database to try to find matches and that they were taking care of it. I have personally been to all repair shops in my local area and gave them the info (half of the tag number, red car, front or rear glass busted, and hood or trunk damage). Don’t even ask about insurance, it is out of annual by about 8 months. We had dropped the insurance recently and planned on moving it back inside the hanger where our 152 presently is. That’s our fault. BTW FBI said they didn’t fool with general aviation. I live in a politically top heavy community and really don’t want to make a big stink about it until absolutely necessary. (we have a business) I have been a life long resident, but I have seen the repercussions of questioning local authority. If local law could find the perps, we are hoping that they have at least liability insurance and try to use it for our repairs. I really appreciate your replies. I will keep you posted.
Thank you for the follow-up. Hope this works out for you.
have an update jbsteed?
The only update that I can give is that we moved it inside a hanger and are getting ready to start drilling rivets. Got the call from the big dog in charge of our local LE and was insured that it was at the top of the list and was being thoroughly investigated. The upper echelons around the airport are being very quiet about this incident. (a friend of mine who is at the airport just about every day called two days ago just to B.S. and he hadn’t even heard about it.) Funny huh? My 8 and 9 year old boys are doing a pretty good job of investigating it though. Every time we are driving and they see a red or burgundy car with damage, they make me check the license plate for the 3 known letters/numbers. Maybe if they solve it our sheriff will give them a Deputy Dog Badge! Seriously though I appreciate your interest and I will advise on any developments.
I am sorry your plane was hit and you have not been able to find the person who did this. Is it possible to put a posting up in the airport, with pictures of the damage to your plane and the digits of the license plate and what description there is of the car? Asking for anyone’s help that might know who this is or heard something? I realize you live a politically top heavy community so the airport may not want this posted. But it may worth a try. Let people know that you do not want to know who tells you, but that this could happen to them or have been their plane.
They say it is better to beg for forgiveness then ask permission - if the airport asks you take this down.
part deux? the following incident does not seem to warrant its own thread so I am posting here. Any update on your dilemma jbsteed?
jbsteed - bump - update?
He’s still drilling rivets.
Drilling rivets - been there, done that! He has not logged in since January 12 and he did write that one could suffer repercussions for stepping out of line in his small town. Perhaps the “local authorities” took him to the woods and shot him to protect one of their own. Sounds plausible to me. If one of those “contrail investigators” could turn their attention to that of jbsteed, perhaps justice could be served…
says that jbsteed is no longer a user… guess we will never know what happened. perhaps “they” rubbed him out or he is trying to erase his tracks and hiding out from the “local authorities.” I am not to good with conspiracy theories. Perhaps others can chime in with theirs…
This should be one that AOPA is alerted. I beleive that any crime involving aircraft damage is a federal offense if the airport has received federal funding (which most do). Had it been operating at the time, it would have most certainly been an issue for the FAA enforcement section. This is a good one to keep tabs on and seek clarification from agencies interested in this type of activity. I can tell you that when a car busted through a gate at Dallas Love Field, granted an airport operating Part 121 scheduled carriers, the feds were all over it.
sbirch - are you saying if the plane had been operating at the time of the incident instead of being parked that FAA enforcement would be involved? My thinking here is that if I owned a plane that was damaged while parked that I would like to be able to involve the FAA if local LE did not do their job.
pretty much the same thing happened at KOMK to a Cherokee 180 about 20 years ago, more or less. Late at night. Someone screwing around on the ramp, and BAM the wing tip was in shambles.
I wonder what the police report has to say about the Auburn event? Any photos in the news?
In June 1997 some punks set a hangar on fire in buffalo ny at 9G0.
4 planes destroyed 7 damaged… That was pre 9/11 and FBI, FAA and local authorities were all over it. Know 2 gentlemen who lost their archer and citabria respectively. Not sure if anyone was caught or charged. As of today there is still melted aluminum on the floor of the new hangar… Firefighters couldn’t get in because of the heat… That’s a lot of LL burning
No CCTV cameras at your facility. I’m surprised.
It’s a small ga airport that was family ran…only reason there was a fence was to keep deer off property. Even post 9-11 it’s quiet there