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Piper Cherokee 180 Part-Out

Appowner

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Yeah, I have the Duke in a hangar. The Cherokee is on a wait list.

These two were parts planes to support the other planes, and it just doesn’t make sense to hangar a plane that’s cut up into pieces as you strip it for the parts you need and the ones you want to sell. I guess it was just too much for someone to resist.

I spoke with a buddy of mine who is also at that airport. He said he’d bet a $100 bill that those parts never see a sales ad. Said some shmuck on the field who likely has no insurance, no medical, quietly comes out and flies on nice weekends periodically and wrenches on the plane himself, may or may not have a legal annual signoff, likely came out and helped himself to everything then put it in a box in his house to use for spares when he needs them, not to sell and get caught.

He’s probably right. Wonder if I can claim the loss on my taxes - airplane is in a sales and leasing business as I plan to sell two shares of the Cherokee when I’m done and keep the other 1/3 for my son. It’ll turn a profit when I sell it from the sales and leasing LLC to a newly-formed holding company LLC for the partnership, so maybe I can write down the profit from the loss of the theft...?

Caveat: I know squat all about taxes.

On a side note if someone needs a tail section that is intact (vertical, horizontal, and elevator and trim tab), come and get it. It’s nice and sitting here. Before someone steals that too. :/
"Casualty Loss" I believe is what you need to look for. Been a few years (like 25) since I used it but I wrote off a classic 911 Porsche totaled out by a drunk. Long story.
 

Squito

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Meeting with the police in an hour or so. We shall see if they bother.
When 2 different GA airports I have been associated with installed perimeter fences and keyed access gates, I bemoaned the loss of future kids wanting to get excited about aviation because the fence became an obstacle. But then, being remote GA airports, I was grateful for the added potential obstacle to instances such as yours. Unfortunately, the thief knew about the aircraft and about the the open access. I concur, it was an inside job.

I notice that fencing and gates are established around the terminal area but an open road access exists to the hangars. You may have recourse with the city for providing controlled access to one part of the airport but not the other (I am not a lawyer). For want of a CCTV, a code access gate, fencing or lighting, the city may have some responsibility. Did you have express permission to place the aircraft there? If not, that would work against you. Do work with the airport manager to address the issue.

Ask around the airport about people who dabble in ebay. That the thief took parts from 2 different aircraft would indicate to me they have every intention to resell and not keep for personal use, especially the Malibu. I dare say, it may well be a mechanic who has the tools and knowledge about what to take. To check on the possibility that it is for personal use, knowing how many Cherokees are on the field could help narrow your search.

Good success in finding resolution.
 
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Randy West

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Wow, this gives me pause. I've never even locked the airplane door when traveling. I guess I've just had really good luck to date.
 

magman

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We had a break-in at a local airport.

Few items were taken but a Cherokee and a Commanche had the doors

badly damaged.

In the dark the vandals were not aware of the upper latch!
 

Ogie_ogelthorpe

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Read a story about an io540 getting snagged in the south from inside a locked hangar. The bandit laid out the removed hardware very neatly. Apparently the 540's are sought after for airboats.
 

Pa32Pilot

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Wow, this gives me pause. I've never even locked the airplane door when traveling. I guess I've just had really good luck to date.
Locking the doors won't do much; the locks on most small aircraft aren't much better than those found on cheap luggage. To say nothing of our gas caps. When my ex-cherokee was parked outdoors at CSS3, the plane had been siphoned on more than one occasion, and the door found ajar more than once. I even had a wingtip stolen, along with its nav light. Lost our nav/com twice but it was cheaper to buy a used drop-in replacement than deal with the insurance and pay the deductible...

No problems now that my Pa32 is hangared. And my Garmin GTN's have serial numbers and can be deactivated by Garmin should they be stolen. But I still dread having to tie down outdoors at destinations, despite using a "Prop Club" when I'm parked. You never know what to expect when you return to your plane. I've gotten into the habit of refueling on the day I'm departing my destination rather than when I have arrived there. Sorry to sound so negative, but I've found that I'm more likely to get screwed by a fellow pilot or mechanic than from an itinerant burglar who sees an airport as an opportunity.

To @RichardLMurphy, I hope you find that [email protected] who stole you blind.
 

Richard L Murphy

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Ditto that on the Cherokee locks. I had to move my son's Cherokee from Springfield to Portland so I could put it in my hangar to pull the engine. When I got to Springfield I was shocked to find my airplane key was not in my flight bag anywhere.

On a hunch I took my BOAT key (2005 Rinker 312 Fiesta Vee) and it worked perfectly. Like it was made for it. Including the mag/starter switch. In many cases if it's even close you can jiggle/bounce it and it'll turn. If you have even the most basic of lock pick sets you can pick it in about 5 seconds flat with a rake and a tensioner.

Locks are made for honest people - at least the ones on these older planes.

Thanks Squito. At least at Gallatin there's a low fence with a picnic table to encourage the kids. I'm looking forward to using the repaired Cherokee to do Discovery Flights for any of my son's ROTC or other school friends who are interested.

Jeff was out there with us today and I don't really want to burn that bridge, although at this point he has no control over the hangar situation and honestly until Nashville Jet goes out of business or another FBO comes on property to lower gas prices, I won't be moving back down from Portland (or if I do I'll still gas up in Portland like a lot of other people do when gas is $2 a gallon cheaper).

Several people have mentioned a certain someone out there who showed interest in the planes I have back there (yes I pay for the storage monthly) so there's a lead or two. We shall see. I'll be pleasantly surprised if it turns up anything.
 

Ogie_ogelthorpe

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Ditto that on the Cherokee locks. I had to move my son's Cherokee from Springfield to Portland so I could put it in my hangar to pull the engine. When I got to Springfield I was shocked to find my airplane key was not in my flight bag anywhere.

On a hunch I took my BOAT key (2005 Rinker 312 Fiesta Vee) and it worked perfectly. Like it was made for it. Including the mag/starter switch. In many cases if it's even close you can jiggle/bounce it and it'll turn. If you have even the most basic of lock pick sets you can pick it in about 5 seconds flat with a rake and a tensioner.

Locks are made for honest people - at least the ones on these older planes.

Thanks Squito. At least at Gallatin there's a low fence with a picnic table to encourage the kids. I'm looking forward to using the repaired Cherokee to do Discovery Flights for any of my son's ROTC or other school friends who are interested.

Jeff was out there with us today and I don't really want to burn that bridge, although at this point he has no control over the hangar situation and honestly until Nashville Jet goes out of business or another FBO comes on property to lower gas prices, I won't be moving back down from Portland (or if I do I'll still gas up in Portland like a lot of other people do when gas is $2 a gallon cheaper).

Several people have mentioned a certain someone out there who showed interest in the planes I have back there (yes I pay for the storage monthly) so there's a lead or two. We shall see. I'll be pleasantly surprised if it turns up anything.
Trail cam!
 

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