Single-engine plane missing from airport

By The Associated Press

TOOELE, Utah (AP) – Tooele County sheriff’s deputies are investigating the disappearance of a single-engine airplane from a local airstrip.

The fixed-wing Cessna 150H was last seen April 9 at the Tooele Valley Airport, about 40 miles west of Salt Lake City, sheriff’s Lt. Duke North said. No one noticed it was missing until April 14.

The propeller-driven plane had been in storage at the airport for five years. The owner, who lives in Washington state, purchased the plane in 2000. He never obtained a pilot’s license, so the blue-and-white plane sat on the tarmac, police said.

The Cessna had no battery and its tires were flat. Investigators think someone re-inflated the tires, put in a battery and flew away.

“It’s not like you’re driving a car,” said Dave Korzep, superintendent of airport operations for the Salt Lake City Department of Airports, which oversees the Tooele Valley Airport. “You have to take off and land.”

Tooele County sheriff’s deputies said they believe the airplane is being stripped for parts, just as a stolen car would be. On Friday, the department issued a nationwide attempt-to-locate for the plane, which bears the tail number N6399S.