"stolen" aircraft

My partner and I bought an aircraft a year ago, paid for it, got a new registration and in an act of friendship kept the seller as third unofficial “partner” lettim him fly and paying only the hourly costs. Then we found out that he is not qualified to fly at night because of a licence restriction. He has been flying continuously at night for years! We told him that he could not fly until the restriction was removed for insurance reasons. We did not want to be liable for his reckless behavior.
He entered the airport, got the airplane, flew to California from Seattle, disabled the airplane (removed an elevator) and asked for the payment of his share that was “given for free” to him, based on the current marked value of the aircraft. The conditions for him to fly were previous request and availability.
Any advise short of involving the FBI or … well, you know, Far West style!

Hopefully you had all of the agreements in writing.

Just involve the FBI, and the FAA. The dude has tried to f*ck you so, you need to take care of your business.

If the airplane is a small single, get a trailer and a truck and take the wings off and drive he thing home.


You guys are very dumb or there is another side of the story.

It would be cheaper to buy a new elevator from a scrap yard than truck in home.

Frank Holbert

the cost of tucking it can be included in the civil suit, which will be easy to win after you involve the FAA, FBI and the local sheriff.

But Frank has a point- there has to more to the story, did you sleep with the guys wife? :open_mouth:

Thanks for the replies.
I have in writing only the bill of sale. He obviously did not contest it because was signed a year ago, the airplane was moved to Seattle a year ago and he came and got it and returned a couple of times. The s#@t started when we discover his flight restriction and did not want to give him the airplane anymore.
I considered to get the airplane with a trailer, but it will take time away from my work, and with this economy…
I was trying to buy the flight records of the last five years on FlightAware to show that he flew at night all the time, but they say they are not available. (?)

Were the flights VFR?

We have flights back through March 2008 but nothing before that, so the automated pricing doesn’t like it. Call customer service on Monday to purchase the records.

How do the flight records show that he was flying the plane. They only show that that tail number was flying - maybe. Like I said in an earlier post, FA shows that my plane was in another state even though I know it was in the hangar.
File a theft report with your local police and let the officials do their job.

If his name is not on the title he has a problem. What kind of plane is it, what was its market value when you purchased, and how much did you pay?

From his actions, he is probably going to say that he remained a partner and reduced the price in consideration. Either that or he is just nuts.

It is a Siai Marchetti 208. Market value today is around $35/$40K. He wanted to sell it at any price because of personal problems. We sold our airplane below cost an bought his for $20K.
His name is not on the title.
He is the only one who flew the airplane in Ca. Any night flight is his.
I’ ll call the FBI on Monday. Like one of you said the guy is just nut.

But Frank has a point- there has to more to the story, did you sleep with the guys wife? :shock:

The wife run away from him, but no, I did not sleep with her!
The other side of the story is that we were friends. We bought the airplane for what he asked and since he seriously wanted to relocate to Seattle (I introduced him to realtor, offered him part of my wharehouse where he could temporarely do his trade) lend him my car to go around and scout for homes…) we told him that in the future
we could be make him a third partner for free since we could split in three the cost of maintenence, hanger, insurance etc.
It was a gift! He then decided not to move and to sell his “quote”!
He is a nut!
All this is only verbal, there is no valid document that could give him any legal leverage.
Now you see why I hate to cause him to have a criminal record?
He can loose a custody dispute whit this .

If I were you, I would consult with an aviation attorney before you call the FBI. I’m not saying that you are not 100% right, just don’t take actions that could possibly cause you more trouble until you get professional advise on how strong your case is. If the attorney tells you the guy has no claim to the aircraft after he hears ALL of the facts, call the FBI.

This is just another example why partnerships suck. If you can’t do it on your own, wait until you can. Very few partnerships end on good terms.

If the guys name isn’t on the title, and he was told not to fly the airplane then he has participated in Air Piracy. Grand Theft Aero!
The FBI is open 24/7. they don’t sleep. Why wait till monday…

They say one in three is a nut.

Look at two of your friends, if they’re okay, it must be you.

Where in California is the plane? What’s the tail number?

I think the ratio is much, much higher. At least on this thread it’s higher.

So far, 9 people have commented on this thread. That means 2 of us are nuts. Please raise your hand. BTW is the ALLEGED pirate a FA member?

When he practices sim instrument failures does he put a patch over one eye instead of the instrument.