Tuesday, July 02, 2019

Cessna 172S Skyhawk, N3504A: Watsonville Municipal Airport (KWVI) , Santa Cruz County, California

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; San Jose, California 

Aircraft has been reported missing for three (3) days. Presumed fatal and destroyed.

Gryphon Aire LLC


Date: 27-JUN-19
Time: 00:23:00Z
Regis#: N3504A
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 172S
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: FATAL
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: UNKNOWN (UNK)
Operation: 91

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email eyewitnessreport@ntsb.gov, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov.

WATSONVILLE, California  - (UPDATE 06.28.19 10:15 p.m.): Federal investigators are in Watsonville looking for anyone involved in stealing a plane from the municipal airport Wednesday night. 

The plane is a 2001 Cessna 172 SP model aircraft with white paint and blue trim. 

Watsonville Police tells KION they have surveillance footage of the theft taking place Wednesday, and it was reported stolen the following day. 

A quick check into the FAA aircraft registry shows Gryphon Aire LLC out of Santa Cruz owns the single-engine fixed-wing Cessna. 

Watsonville Municipal Airport has 24-hour surveillance. Ella King, the owner of the restaurant Ella's at the Airport, says they stay open until 10 p.m., but anyone flying out a single plane when it is still light out would not arouse suspicion. 

King says in the years she has been at the airport, she has never heard of a plane getting stolen. She believes the only way it could have been stolen is if someone flew it out of the airport. 

"Pulling in a flatbed truck and thinking about lifting a plane onto a flatbed and then driving it out is really almost inconceivable," said King. "So it had to have been someone that had some prior knowledge maybe on the plane specific and obviously the ability to fly it out is also important." 

King says she comes from a family of pilots, with one of her relatives training pilots at the Watsonville Airport during World War II. She says the airport is exceptionally safe with wonderful staff.

The FBI and FAA are now involved in trying to solve who stole the plane. 


A plane was stolen from the Watsonville Municipal Airport, Wednesday. 

Watsonville Police tell KION that they confirmed the theft through surveillance footage, and reported the plane missing Thursday afternoon. 

The plane is a single-engine Cessna. 

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Aviation Administration are now handling the investigation. 

Story and video ➤ https://www.kion546.com

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