Feds Charge Pilot With Making False Mayday Call, Crashing
With the aviation world seemingly dominated by the news of A320s
landing in New York rivers, the odd case of Marcus Schrenker seems
like it happened a lifetime ago... but it's only been 10 days since
the 38-year-old embattled businessman parachuted from his aircraft
over Alabama, in an apparent (and, ultimately, rather futile)
attempt to fake his own death.
While the public eye may have wandered from the embattled
Indiana investment banker's saga, however, federal authorities have
kept him front-and-center. On Tuesday, Schrenker was indicted by a
federal grand jury for intentionally crashing his Piper PA-46
Meridian in Florida, and for making a fake distress call.
The Associated Press reports Schrenker is due to be arraigned on
Thursday; until then, he's still in jail.
As ANN reported, Schrenker sent the distress
call to controllers January 11, claiming he had been severely
injured from a broken windscreen. The plane was left to run out of
fuel, eventually crashing near Destin, FL. Schrenker later
approached police in Childersburg, AL and claimed he'd been in a
With little apparent reason to doubt the man at his word,
officers gave Schrenker a ride to a motel in nearby Harpersburg. By
the time news surfaced of the Florida plane crash -- and that
Schrenker was facing an Indiana state investigation of three of his
financial firms, the recent filing for divorce by his wife, and a
half-million-dollar penalty owed to an insurance firm for allegedly
collecting commissions to which he wasn't entitled -- he was long
gone, riding a motorcycle he'd stashed in a nearby storage
It was a plot worthy of a Bond film... but Schrenker's own
hubris appears to have gotten the better of him. By January 13,
officials were able to track Schrenker to a Florida campground
thanks to an email he sent to a neighbor the night before.
When police in Quincy, FL found Schrenker, he was bloodied from
an apparent suicide attempt.