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Stolen Velocity Demo Ship

Joe Cygan

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Odd, the timing of that, plus the fact it's a canard. My wife and I were having a very in-depth discussion last night about security for the aircraft and what the odds of it being stolen were. We both know that aircraft are sometimes stolen, but my wife seemed to think I was over-reacting and it wasn't much of a problem, whereas I'm a bit paranoid about it-- it's a huge investment to lose! I showed this article to her at lunch and now she's like me. I put together a short list of questions to which we have no answers:


-Just how bad is the problem with aircraft theft?

-How does insurance handle it?

-What precautions are the most effective?

-Can a physical anti-theft system (such as a kill-switch or critical removeable component) be SAFELY integrated into the airframe such that it won't cause the aircraft to suddenly decide it's being stolen mid-flight?


I've been coming up with all sorts of half baked ideas all afternoon and discarding them. I have no faith in alarms, and little more in a locking canopy. I'm sure this Velocity had at least SOME form of protection. My wife suggested making the nosewheel removeable, but I countered that it might decide to remove itself during takeoff/landing. I'd also considered fuel system components and discarded them for the same reason. Anyone have info on the subject?

Evan Kisbey

Cozy Mk IV plans # 1114

"There may not be any stupid questions, but I've seen LOTS of curious idiots..."

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I think most people keep their planes in locked hangers. After working on something for years most dont want to leave it on the ramp.


>-Just how bad is the problem with aircraft theft?

Not that bad, I suspect. I don't have any statistics, but I'd guess that lightning strike is more likely.


>-How does insurance handle it?

Badly, I'm sure.


>-What precautions are the most effective?

My understanding is that a prop lock is the most effective


>-Can a physical anti-theft system

You'll find that the aeroelectric gurus will advise against a keyed ignition switch. I put one in anyway. I also added locking fuel caps (to prevent tampering with, or stealing the fuel).

I can be reached on the "other" forum http://canardaviationforum.dmt.net

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In my opinion and from my experiences there is a very high level of theft in the aviation community.You will probably hear more about radio and avionics theft than actual aircraft being stolen.I remember reading an article about someone using a chain saw to rip open a canard aircraft to steal its radios and avionics here in Southern California .The best defense in my opinion is a hangar and sturdy lock.Of course, they do make a bunch of anti-theft devises like throttle locks and prop locks.I remember working on a Gulfstream II from Mexico.Later on in the inspection they found out that it was actually stolen.Strange thing,that plane just sat on our ramp for a couple months until it left without a word one night.

Joe Cygan

Cozy MKIV #1022

Southern California

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  • 1 year later...

By the way, the Velocity Demo plane wasn't stolen, it was borrowed. A prospective buyer talked the owner into letting him take it from Sebastian over to Tampa to show it to his two partners.


The plane disappeared into the fog at Lakeland South on an early Monday Morning. Big suspicion that the borrower "stole' the plane but no proof.


$20,000 reward available. See http://members.aol.com/_ht_a/jkprodco/stolen-aircraft/N457M-det.htm for more info.

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  • 2 weeks later...

It would be really easy to install a "hidden" master switch or something of the like that would prevent the engine starting. That would not prevent component theft which I believe is far more common. The good news is that a locked hangar is really all you need. Component thieves are typically drug addicts and small time burglars who go, almost exclusively, for the "low hanging fruit". Any obstacle at all will divert them to a target that is less or not protected. I've never heard of anyone losing anything from a locked hangar, even if the lock is easily defeated.

...Destiny's Plaything...

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Jim and to all:


This may be a little off, but it happened to me and I'll post it to maybe help others........


I had a brand new 18' boat once that I kept locked up in a boat storage place not far from where I lived. Kept it there about a year. Well, one day the owner of the storage place calls me at home and ask "Did you happen to take the motor off of your boat for some reason?" I said "What.....?"


Took a little ride down there and found my one year old 110 hp Johnson outboard motor was GONE off of the transom, along with all the controls. :mad: This particular storage place had metal doors, roofing, and siding, but the dividers between the stalls was CHAIN LINK FENCING. When I was in my stall for example I could SEE into others peoples stalls and see what they had in each. (I'm NOT a thief, so I never thought about it). What apparently happened was the stall next to mine was empty, the thiefs came into the stall next to mine, cut the chain link fence with wire cutters, and proceeded to help themselves to my $6000. motor.


Insurance only gave me $4500. (because I didn,t have REPLACEMENT value insurance or some crap like that). They deducted the value the same as a used car in other words.


So, I hope this helps someone out there.....look around where you keep your stuff.....check out your iinsurance for the "replacement" clause on your insurance......and good luck.


David Swain

David Swain


Watch thine airspeed, least the ground come up and smite thee.......

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