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Ovation
13th Jan 2009, 00:09
Reported on CNN:

A man whose financial management business is under investigation faked a life-or-death emergency in his private aircraft before secretly parachuting out and letting his plane crash in the Florida panhandle, authorities said Monday.

The pilot, identified as Marcus Schrenker, 38, later checked into a hotel in Alabama under a fake name and then put on a black cap and fled into woods, authorities in Alabama said, according to the Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Office in Milton, Florida. Authorities are searching for the pilot.
The manager of the airport in Indiana from which the six-seat Piper PA-46 took off said that no one else was on board at takeoff. Schrenker "appears to have intentionally abandoned the plane after putting it on autopilot over the Birmingham, Alabama, area and parachuting to the ground" Sunday night, the sheriff's office said in a news release.

The plane crashed at 9:15 p.m. CT on Sunday in a swampy area of the Blackwater River in East Milton, Florida, authorities said. It's unclear what time Schrenker made the earlier distress call. He told air traffic controllers that the window of his plane had imploded and he was bleeding profusely.

That call came in when the aircraft was about 35 miles southwest of Birmingham. Controllers tried to tell the pilot to divert the flight to Pell City, Alabama, but he did not respond. The plane appeared to have been put on autopilot around 2,000 feet altitude, Haines said. The plane had been scheduled to land in Destin, Florida, authorities said.

After the call came in, military aircraft were dispatched to intercept the plane. The jets spotted the Piper and deployed flares to illuminate the plane as it was flying and noticed that its door was open and the cockpit was dark, according to the Santa Rosa authorities. The jets continued to follow the plane until it crashed. Rescuers searched the area where the plane went down and began a search for the pilot.

Meanwhile, Schrenker reportedly was more than 220 miles north of the crash site. The corporate plane does not have an ejection feature, said Steve Darlington, the airport manager of the Anderson Municipal Airport in Anderson, Indiana. Darlington described the pilot as "accomplished" and said he owns "a couple of airplanes" and flies regularly.

Union Jack
13th Jan 2009, 00:36
Darlington described the pilot as "accomplished" and said he owns "a couple of airplanes" and flies regularly.

Should perhaps be amended to read 'he owns "an airplane" and parachutes occasionally'!:)

Jack

mickjoebill
13th Jan 2009, 07:56
This is about as ill fated and inept an aviation venture as the priest who floated away on helium balloons tied to his deck chair.....


Missing pilot 'faked distress call then bailed out' | theage.com.au (http://www.theage.com.au/world/missing-pilot-faked-distress-call-then-bailed-out-20090113-7fxw.html)



Mickjoebill

peterbuckstolemymeds
13th Jan 2009, 16:31
...most news associations now reporting that there's been a lawsuit, and now investigations, into his financial-business dealings, also a pending divorce and some other sundry rumblings.

this one has "made for made-for-TV movie" stamped all over it. IF he doesn't kill himself or get eaten in the woods.

Captain Stable
13th Jan 2009, 19:26
Authorities believe that Mr Schrenker was last seen yesterday morning in Childersburg, Alabama about 225 miles from where the aircraft crashed when a man using his driver's licence told police that he had been in a canoe accident. The man was wet only from the knees down and had what appeared to be goggles made for flying.He should have known THAT one wasn't going to run - was he headed for Panama by any chance?

CarltonBrowne the FO
13th Jan 2009, 23:08
Seems like a lot of trouble to go to for a Caterpillar Club tie...

Low Flier
13th Jan 2009, 23:29
The corporate plane does not have an ejection feature, said Steve Darlington, the airport manager of the Anderson Municipal Airport in Anderson, Indiana

It also does not have an Imax screen; a bowling green; a sauna; or a swimming pool. It's a ferkin Piper Malibu, fer fuxake.