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Sat, Feb 12, 2005

Mystery Theft Ends In Belly Flop

Michigan C414 Stolen, Flown 15 Miles South, Lands Gear-Up Overnight

The owner of Meyers-Divers Airport in Tecumseh (MI), Keith Diver, was quite surprised Friday morning when he drove into his airport and found a Cessna 414 twin (file photo, right) lying on the runway, gear-up, door open, and not a soul to be seen.

"The plane was lying in the middle of the airport," Diver told the Daily Telegram. "Its landing gear hadn't been extended and its door was open and no one was around."

Police just as surprised when they got there after Diver called them -- as well as the FAA, after he closed the runway. Now they are trying to find out how the aircraft got that way in the first place.

As it turns out, the aircraft had been stolen the evening of February 3 from Ann Arbor (MI) Airport, just 15 miles NE of Tecumseh. It belongs to Walloon Air LLC, of Ann Arbor, but the business doesn't have a phone number so no one could be contacted to find out what had happened to the aircraft.

One the initial investigation was completed, Irish Hills Crane Service showed up and picked up the plane so it could be moved off the runway.

Diver added that he suspects someone stole the twin for a joyride, but whomever did it must have had some flying experience. "It takes more training and you have to have an endorsement on your license to fly a twin," he said.

FMI: www.faa.gov, www.tsa.gov

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