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February 10, 2012
The 1980's Cessna airplane was a mangled mess after the crash, and the 52-year-old man behind the wheel was killed on impact, according to KTVU News.
The small plane crashed outside Fresno on Sunday, but investigators were saying on Tuesday that the Cessna had been stolen from Buchanan Field in Concord.
Federal investigators told KTVU the man stole the plane sometime over the weekend.
The plane's rightful owner couldn't believe the news when he got the call.
"He asked me; he said, you know your plane's been in an accident? I said, ‘No it should have been [at Buchanan Field]’," recalled the plane’s owner.
Even though they have 24 hour security at Buchanan Field, the owner believes that the man likely just hopped a short chain link fence around the tarmac, hotwired the plane, and then took off.
There are reports that the man first flew to Stockton where he landed, bought food, and then took off again.
A National Transportation Safety Board investigator said that the man was not a licensed pilot.
It appears that he clipped some power lines prior to the crash.
The theft of a small plane is an unusual crime. According to a non-profit aviation group, on average fewer than 10 planes are stolen in the U.S. every year.
If you or someone you know has had his or her safety compromised on a commercial or private aircraft, the aviation lawyers at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy may be able to help.
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