Monday, May 20, 2013
Thieves Swipe Airplane From Big Lake
State Troopers seek information after someone steals plane from Big Lake Airport.
Original article posted July 19, 2010
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTVA-CBS 11 News) State troopers are looking for information after someone stole an airplane from the Big Lake Airport.
Troopers say the Piper Cub was reported stolen on Sunday, July 18th and has been missing for nearly 3 weeks.
The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association says less than 10 plane thefts a year happen nationwide.
As far as Alaska, some pilots say the last time they heard of a plane being stolen was over a decade ago.
"To our knowledge, this a very rare occurrence. I think maybe in the last ten years our offices maybe heard about one other airplane that had been stolen," says Dee Hanson, Executive Director for the Alaska Airmen's Association.
However, pilots say what they do hear about, especially around Lake Hood, is break-ins and vandalism.
"I have seen break-ins to the airplanes. It seems to happen regularly, a lot of these airplanes don't lock and they are getting into them. People have survival guns, gear and sleeping bags, things of that nature, and a lot of times those things come up missing overnight," says John Ellison, Pilot for Ellison Air.
Some say all it takes is a little common sense to keep your valuables safe.
"Getting all of your valuables out of the airplane would be by far the best. Valuable things that could be turned for cash quickly, like headsets. Some of those are a thousand dollars or more," says Jeff Walker, Owner and Manager for Seaplanes North.
The people at Lake Hood say it all comes down to locks.
" In general, airplanes just need to be locked. The problem with that is a lot of these are 60's and 70's airplanes and on a lot of them it becomes problematic to keep the locks working," says walker.
Lake Hood does have an airport watch program and officials encourage people who recreate by the lake to call if they ever see anything suspicious. That number for Airport Dispatch is 266-2411.
The Piper Cub plane that was stolen over the weekend is white with red trim and has the tail number N2340S.
If you have any information please call State Troopers at 745-2131 or Crime Stoppers at 745-3333.