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Cops Out of Control, John And Martha King Held At Police Gunpoint???

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by Contract_Pilot, Aug 30, 2010.

  1. Contract_Pilot

    Contract_Pilot Vancouver, Washington Active Member

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    AVwebFlash Complete Issue

    Aviation's most prominent husband and wife team is calling on government agencies to keep their databases up to date and warning pilots and aircraft owners they could be next to be surrounded by heavily armed police, handcuffed and detained because of a bit of miscommunication. John and Martha King say there's a lesson to be learned after they spent about 30 scary minutes in the custody of Santa Barbara, Calif., police at the Santa Barbara Airport Saturday. Authorities thought their leased Cessna 172 was a Cessna 150 that had been stolen eight years previously in Texas. The 172, which is owned by Cessna Aircraft, was assigned the N-number of the stolen 150 in 2009, years after the FAA had cancelled that registration on the 150. Apparently no one told the El Paso Intelligence Center, an arm of the Drug Enforcement Agency, and other government departments that keeps tabs on, among other things, flights of stolen aircraft. When the Kings filed IFR for their flight from San Diego to meet friends in Santa Barbara, the local police were alerted to intercept the aircraft when it landed. As Martha King told us in the accompanying podcast, what followed was, in her opinion, unnecessarily dangerous and uncomfortable.

    King says they were approached by police prepared for the worst, with guns drawn and others taking cover behind the doors of the four police cars that responded. Although anyone who has met the Kings would describe them as anything but threatening in appearance and demeanor, the police took no chances and maintained their aggressive stance through the ordeal. "I would have thought at that point when they got us out it would have ratcheted down quite a bit because I don't think we exactly look like your typical airplane thief," she said. The Kings were not hurt and the airplane was not damaged. The police did not apologize but did justify their actions by saying it was a report that had to be checked out, King said. The Kings said they went public with their experience in hopes that law enforcement agencies will double-check stolen aircraft reports and to warn pilots that there's a chance their N-number could come up under similar circumstances.


    FAA Database...
    FAA Registry - Aircraft - N-Number Inquiry
     
  2. 2506

    2506 Seattle Well-Known Member

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    This reminds me of Ronald Reagan: Trust But Verify. I don't think law enforcement was out of line, just being cautious.
     
  3. Contract_Pilot

    Contract_Pilot Vancouver, Washington Active Member

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    Why, they should have investigated a little..
     
  4. Trlsmn

    Trlsmn In Utero (Portland) Well-Known Member

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    +1 this was a clerical mistake not a police mistake, the police did the right thing with the information they had.
     
  5. Contract_Pilot

    Contract_Pilot Vancouver, Washington Active Member

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    I disagree this situation was out of hand in my opinion.

    Law enforcement and the general public has access to the current FAA database and it can be downloaded. Your N Number is like your license plate number. They should have spent 2min looking and verifying the info before acting and they had the time. I know I and most others would be upset if we were detained in this manor because the authority's did not update or even check the registration database.

    FlightAware > N50545

    FAA Registry - Aircraft - N-Number Results

    You will see at the bottom that it says Deregistered Aircraft and it;s the 150... they talk about.

    Aircraft Description

    Serial Number 172S10889 Type Registration Corporation
    Manufacturer Name CESSNA Certificate Issue Date 01/23/2009
    Model 172S Status Valid
    Type Aircraft Fixed Wing Single-Engine Type Engine Reciprocating
    Pending Number Change None Dealer No
    Date Change Authorized None Mode S Code 51447605
    MFR Year 2009 Fractional Owner NO
    Registered Owner

    Name CESSNA AIRCRAFT CO
    Street 1 CESSNA BLVD

    City INDEPENDENCE State KANSAS
    County MONTGOMERY Zip Code 67301-9060
    Country UNITED STATES
    Airworthiness

    Engine Manufacturer LYCOMING Classification Standard
    Engine Model IO-360-L2A Category Normal
    A/W Date 01/13/2009

    This is the most current Airworthiness Certificate data, however, it may not reflect the current aircraft configuration. For that information, see the aircraft record. A copy can be obtained at Http://aircraft.faa.gov/e.gov/ND/airrecordsND.asp

    Other Owner Names

    None

    Temporary Certificate

    None

    Fuel Modifications

    None


    Deregistered Aircraft

    Deregistered Aircraft 1 of 1
    Aircraft Description
    Serial Number 15069387 Type Registration Corporation
    Manufacturer Name CESSNA Certificate Issue Date 05/09/2001
    Model 150J Mode S Code 51447605
    Year Manufacturer 1968 Cancel Date 09/07/2005
    Reason for Cancellation Cancelled Export To None
    Aircraft Registration prior to Deregistration
    Name VENUS AVIATION LLC
    Street 10025 EAGLE DR
    City MC KINNEY State TEXAS Zip Code 75071-6573
    County COLLIN
    Country UNITED STATES
    Deregistered Airworthiness
    Engine Manufacturer CONT MOTOR Classification Standard
    Engine Model 17020 Category Utility
    A/W Date 09/04/1968
    Deregistered Other Owner Names
    None
     
  6. Outrider

    Outrider Oregon Active Member

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    No doubt officer safety is going to be the reason offered to justify this type of thing but it is a "shoot first, ask questions later" kind of approach to law enforcement. That approach will create a lot of problems for police over time. Instead of people supporting police and being willing to work with them we will get people who will want to have nothing to do with them and ultimately without community support that makes police work more difficult and more dangerous.
     
  7. stompah

    stompah Renton, WA New Member

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    No blame for the FAA for issuing the same N-number? I agree its a bad situation, but the cops though misinformed did their job. The DEA again did their job, sloppy but they did it.

    For none of the blame to land on the FAA for reissuing an number belonging to an unrecovered plane... They definitely ruined everyone's day.
     
  8. MrNiceGuy

    MrNiceGuy between springfield and shelbyville Well-Known Member

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    So, because they were so inept and incompetent AND oblivious, they did the right thing?

    :thumbdown:


    I also think it's great that they met two innocent old people with enough firepower to throw a coup.
    They would rather go in blind and violent then take even the simplest steps to verify their target.




    They re-issued a trumped up license plate number. It happens every day with cars.
    The reason they went after this plane is because the cops and DEA didnt do their job what-so-ever.
    It's the direct result of assuming instead of verifying.

    When your only reaction involves armored teams carrying fully automatic assault rifles, you better make sure you read the entire license page before you react.

    Regardless, these types of para-military actions are out of hand. I've seen police draw down on someone for littering, i've seen armored swat teams invade small headshops because their employees used the word "bong", i've seen rifles aimed at someone who was river diving off of a bridge.
    This is just one in a long line of violent overreactions, this one just happens to be based on ignorance as well.
     
  9. QXSOUP

    QXSOUP Portland, OR Member

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    The cops should hold Maratha's hairdresser at gunpoint...
     
  10. drew

    drew OR Well-Known Member

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    Ba-dump! Seriously folks, try the veal and tip your waitress.
     
  11. Redcap

    Redcap Lewis County, WA Well-Known Member

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    Agreed.
     
  12. Trlsmn

    Trlsmn In Utero (Portland) Well-Known Member

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    For the people who think the cops were wrong and should have checked it out, who do you think alerted the cops that it was a stolen plane? The FAA?

    Here is the FAA database report, do you see anywhere that you can differentiate stolen from not stolen?

    FAA Registry - Aircraft - N-Number Results

    Never let emotions cloud the issue.


    01.jpg

    02.jpg

    03.jpg

    04.jpg

    Those pictures look like a reasonable handling of the situation by police that were called in to a stolen plane incident.

    I fail to see where the police went wrong, please enlighten me.

    Call me crazy but what if John And Martha King had taken the steps to check out the plane themselves?

    BTW the OP's comment of "surrounded by heavily armed police" is quite an overstatement and amounts to sensationalism, as you can see the statement makes it sound like a SWAT team in full kit took them down hard when in reality there are three police officers with side arms, I've seen more cops at a domestic dispute at the neighbors house. ;)
     
  13. gearhead

    gearhead NC Active Member

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    I've been in the same situation as the police in this case. When I was stationed in Miami, we received a report of a stolen vessel. 99 times out of 100, people who steal yachts are open for business. When we intercepted the vessel and boarded it, you bet your *** weapons were drawn. As it turns out, we received some false information. I apologized to the man on the business end of my 870, and he accepted that apology. It was not a good situation for any parties involved. At the end of the day, I have a family to go home to. I'll act on the information I'm given, and maintain situational awareness as things progress - that's about as good as it gets. Just because a LEO goes into a situation with a weapon drawn does not mean he or she is overreacting or using excessive force. Sometimes it's just necessary for officer safety until all the details are confirmed one way or the other. Before you "jump the gun" and point a finger at the cops, try putting yourself in their shoes and think long and hard about what you would do in their situation. So many of us would never think twice about drawing our weapons if we felt our lives threatened as a civilian, but seem quick to deny that same right to the police.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2010
  14. Contract_Pilot

    Contract_Pilot Vancouver, Washington Active Member

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    Trlsmn,

    It was not the FAA that reported it stolen. It was the El Paso Intelligence Center that did the report from an outdated database. Now If the El Paso Intelligence Center would have updated their database or verified the data they would have found that the 150 was deregistered years ago and the registration number was reassigned to another aircraft of a different model.

    This is like having a plate number in some database for an old F150 that was reported stolen canceled then reissued to a newer F250 years later and not updated in the reporters database and the cops not even running the plate to see who it is registered to currently or verifying that it was a F150 before the stop.

    So, with your statement would it be the driver of the F250 to make sure the plate number was ever reported stolen and is some outdated database as such? I do not think so?

    Now, if the police would have done their job and looked it up on the FAA database to see the registration of the aircraft as they do with a car they would have found out it was not the Cessna 150 they were looking for or called to investigate but a newly manufactured Cessna 172 with a different owner.

    The FAA database shows the 150 registration as canceled.

    "Reason for Cancellation: Cancelled"

    As for the 172?
    "Certificate Issue Date 01/23/2009"
    "Status Valid"

    Now if this was a car and they stopped it without running the registration "plate" or verifying make and model because they got a report that it was stolen from some agency I am sure the person would be upset at the police and it would made headline news.

    I am sure this could have been handled in a more civil manor instead of forcing them out of the aircraft at gunpoint.

    If police are going to be enforcing aviation I think they need to have the training in dealing with aircraft as this could have turned in to a really bad situation not only for the King's but others and other property on the airport.

    I am willing to bet most police department's and/or most police officer's don't even know how to look up an aircraft registration? And their ignorance shows asking to see a VIN?

    The King's are wealthy law abiding people and I am sure this if not the end of the story. Using incorrect information to wrongfully arrest or detain someone at gun point is really out of control.

    And the pilots do check the paperwork, as required by the FAA to fly us pilots have to verify we have these documents on the plane?

    A - Airworthiness certificate
    R - Registration
    R - Radio license (only need for international travel)
    O - Pilots operating handbook (POH)
    W - Weight and balance
     
  15. Contract_Pilot

    Contract_Pilot Vancouver, Washington Active Member

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    A post I did a long time ago... About another incident..

    Read the PDF Here

    Posted from another forum

    .
     
  16. Russianfist

    Russianfist Sweet home, Oregon Active Member

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    CP I disagree with your original post here. Bad information leads cops being called to investigate a crime involving a plane. we all know that things in aviation are different since 9/11 so we take no chances. Also, being that close to the border of mexico they are always looking for smugglers or a flying bomb in 150's,172's,Cherokee's and so on.

    So, why are you pissed at the cops for doing their job?

    Quote:" I am sure this could have been handled in a more civil manor instead of forcing them out of the aircraft at gunpoint".

    Dude! Really? They would have done the very same thing if it were a car. Doesn't matter if they little old people or not.

    Quote: "The King's are wealthy law abiding people and I am sure this if not the end of the story. Using incorrect information to wrongfully arrest or detain someone at gun point is really out of control".

    Are you saying that because they are rich they are above all this nonsence?

    Quote: "I am willing to bet most police department's and/or most police officer's don't even know how to look up an aircraft registration? And their ignorance shows asking to see a VIN?"

    I know a police dispatcher that would have this info in minutes.

    Please don't take this the wrong way and I will refrain from any personal attacks but you really don't know what the heck you're talking about.:nuts:

    No offence.
     
  17. Contract_Pilot

    Contract_Pilot Vancouver, Washington Active Member

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    Then why did the dispatcher not look the info up or verify it instead of just taking big brothers word they had the time! If they looked the info up they would have seen that it was not a 150 but a 172 I think they still should have investigated a little, If they did a little investigation possibly 10 min could have handled it without the threat of deadly force.

    If this was a car the police would have run the license plate! I bet if the license plate came back clear they would not have used a threat of deadly force.

    Since the info was given to them by government intelligence agency shouldn't the intelligence agency have kept an updated database.

    According to AIN Online

    Yes, we put our name on the flight plan! did they check the flightplan and get the pilots name and info before the stop? I do not think they did!

    This statement does not fly as pilots we have ways to communicate being hijacked. All the King's would have had to do is change their transponder to 7500 and that would have alerted ATC he was being hijacked. I am sure a Criminal hijacking a plane also would not allow then to follow their IFR flight plan and land at the filled destination.

    AOPA With Article & Video Interview With John King and AOPA president Craig Fuller.
     
  18. powersbj

    powersbj Seattle Area Active Member

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    I think a 7500 squawk is gonna get you shot at by the DHS faster than a sailor gets off in a Singapore whorehouse. Regardless the fault lies in the agency with the authority to act, they are the ones responsible for the validation of Intel which in this case was very available in another PUBLIC GOVERNMENT DATABASE..... Think on that one.
     
  19. Contract_Pilot

    Contract_Pilot Vancouver, Washington Active Member

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    Why it's the standard procedure to let them know your being hijacked. "FAA Aim Chapter 6" if it was the case this type of stop would have been justified.

    Code 7500 will never be assigned by ATC without prior notification from the pilot that the aircraft is being subjected to unlawful interference. The pilot should refuse the assignment of Code 7500 in any other situation and inform the controller accordingly. Code 7500 will trigger the special emergency indicator in all radar ATC facilities.

    c. Air traffic controllers will acknowledge and confirm receipt of transponder Code 7500 by asking the pilot to verify it. If the aircraft is not being subjected to unlawful interference, the pilot should respond to the query by broadcasting in the clear that the aircraft is not being subjected to unlawful interference. Upon receipt of this information, the controller will request the pilot to verify the code selection depicted in the code selector windows in the transponder control panel and change the code to the appropriate setting. If the pilot replies in the affirmative or does not reply, the controller will not ask further questions but will flight follow, respond to pilot requests and notify appropriate authorities.

    d. If it is possible to do so without jeopardizing the safety of the flight, the pilot of a hijacked passenger aircraft, after departing from the cleared routing over which the aircraft was operating, will attempt to do one or more of the following things, insofar as circumstances may permit:

    1. Maintain a true airspeed of no more than 400 knots, and preferably an altitude of between 10,000 and 25,000 feet.

    2. Fly a course toward the destination which the hijacker has announced.

    e. If these procedures result in either radio contact or air intercept, the pilot will attempt to comply with any instructions received which may direct the aircraft to an appropriate landing field.
     
  20. Contract_Pilot

    Contract_Pilot Vancouver, Washington Active Member

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    So they admit that the police don't have any training for aircraft stops!!! This could have gone really bad in a hurry if it was stolen.

    Say the police stopped a truly stolen aircraft assuming piston engine with the P leads on the mags cut or an aircraft that has no keys and just switches. Would they know how to secure it and shut it down if the suspect bailed and left the engine running? What about a turbine engine would they know how to turn it off if no one was around with knowledge to help? What if they fired shots and critically wounded the suspect as he was advancing the throttle and the plane went airborne and the suspect died it would place more people and property on the ground in danger than a car would.