As the price of all kinds of metal increases, so do the incidences of theft. Here in Michigan there have been a series of thefts of copper from automobiles rendering them unusable until repaired. To make matters worse, the thefts have caused automobile insurance rates to increase to cover the losses.
So, why not airplane parts? Well, with the ever rising cost of aluminum thieves in Arizona are slinking through the night and searching for scrap metal to sell. Recently they made off with wings from two vintage aircraft which were being rebuilt by the Wingspan Aviation Heritage Foundation in Mesa, AZ.
The thieves made off with a pair of wings for a 40's era T-33 and a pair of wings for a 50's Lockheed PV-2 bomber. Distraught by the theft foundation director Robert Kropp went to the media in an effort to locate the stolen items. He got lucky - an anonymous tip led police to two remote locations in the desert where the wings were found intact.
Returned to their rightful owner the wings are now under lock and key and will quickly be put back on the airframes, thus making it far more difficult for thieves to steal them once again. Improved security has been added to thwart any future metal thievery.
With so many people struggling to make ends meet, I would suggest you keep your aircraft safely tucked away at night, particularly if it is not large and difficult to move easily.
Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch!