Theft Gone Awry, Or Joyriding?
Police in Utah are looking into how -- and why -- a thief was
able to gain access to a Diamond DA20-C1 parked on the ramp of Salt
Lake City Municipal Airport 2 (U42).
Airport spokeswoman Barbara Gann told the Salt Lake Tribune
airport police were dispatched at approximately 7 am Monday
morning, after receiving a report an unidentified person had untied
the two-seat airplane (file photo of type, above.)
The thief apparently broke the canopy lock, and was able to
start the airplane using a screwdriver.
"It was effectively hot-wired like you would a car," Gann said.
"It's very unusual. We've had nothing like this, or close."
The thief then taxied out for takeoff, but was apparently unable
to do so. Skid marks trailed the aircraft when police found
it, off the side of the runway with its engine still idling. The
would-be pilot was nowhere to be found.
The incident left the airplane's owner with many questions.
"I'm confused, I suppose, as to why someone would want to steal
a small airplane like that," said Dr. Michael Belfort, whose
company owns the Diamond. "I'm very interested to find out what the
motivation for this person was."
Belfort said he leases the aircraft for flight training to Air
Center of Salt Lake. He added the aircraft is supposed to be kept
in the hangar when not in use.
** Report created 2/7/2006 Record
Make/Model: DV20 Description:
DA-20/22, DV-20 KATANA, SPEED KATANA
Date: 02/06/2006 Time: 0000
Event Type: Incident Highest Injury:
None Mid Air: N Missing:
City: SALT LAKE CITY State: UT
ACFT WAS FOUND IN THE FIELD OFF THE END OF THE RUNWAY
UNOCCUPIED WITH ITS
ENGINE RUNNING, OTHER CIRCUMSTANCES ARE UNKNOWN, SALT LAKE
INJURY DATA Total
# Crew: 0 Fat:
# Pass: 0 Fat:
Fat: 0 Ser:
WEATHER: NOT REPORTED
Dep Date: Dep.
Last Radio Cont:
FAA FSDO: SALT LAKE CITY, UT
Entry date: 02/07/2006