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Tampering with parked aircraft

Old 15th Apr 2022, 13:28
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Tampering with parked aircraft

One of our pilots returning to the aircraft at Rottnest today found that it had been moved off the bitumen parking area and pushed onto a soft surface not meant for parking. A bunch of people doing a club activity were witnessed moving aircraft around and decided to just push it out of their way so they could occupy the parking space instead and box him in. Good thing people take so many photos these days....

Pilot needed assistance to get the aircraft back to a solid surface where he could start the engine without damaging the (brand new) prop..

So, I know there are rules about tampering with aircraft, any ideas where I can find them?


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Old 15th Apr 2022, 21:03
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Report the matter to the Police. In most states the police have a handbook/guide to what can and cannot be done or accessed on aerodromes and airports. That at least gives you a case number.
Advise your Underwriter the aircraft has been tampered with
Advise CASA and ask their advice.. this way you have three case numbers to back up your claims.
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Old 15th Apr 2022, 21:48
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Reg 24(2) of the Civil Aviation Act.
Federal Police matter, not local.
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Old 15th Apr 2022, 23:43
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Or the owner could just move on and not worry about itÖ.

Perhaps it was moved so as to not get blasted by others, due to wing blowing or perhaps it wasnít authorised to be parked there in the first place? Was the aircraft damaged in any way? Why was the handbrake not on as it sounds like it wasnít properly secured?
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Old 15th Apr 2022, 23:46
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Originally Posted by thunderbird five View Post
Reg 24(2) of the Civil Aviation Act.
Federal Police matter, not local.
Cound it really be argued this act "endangered the safety" of the aircraft? I guess if it stressed the gear legs or something trying to get it out, but you know what lawyers are like....

Originally Posted by CIVIL AVIATION ACT 1988 - SECT 24
Interference with crew or aircraft
(1) A person commits an offence if:
(a) the person does an act; and
(b) the act:
(ii) threatens the safety of an aircraft or of persons on board an aircraft.
Penalty: Imprisonment for 2 years.
(2) A person must not tamper with:
(a) an aircraft; or
(b) an aeronautical product that is of such a type that tampering with it may endanger the safety of an aircraft or any person or property;
if tampering with it may endanger the safety of the aircraft or any person or property.
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Old 16th Apr 2022, 00:22
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Originally Posted by Squawk7700 View Post
Or the owner could just move on and not worry about itÖ.

Perhaps it was moved so as to not get blasted by others, due to wing blowing or perhaps it wasnít authorised to be parked there in the first place? Was the aircraft damaged in any way? Why was the handbrake not on as it sounds like it wasnít properly secured?
It was in the correct parking spot and chocked. A group of people subsequently flew in with multiple aircraft, were moving aircraft around with tow bars and were witnessed pushing it off the bitumen onto a softer surface.
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Old 16th Apr 2022, 00:59
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Originally Posted by Clare Prop View Post
It was in the correct parking spot and chocked. A group of people subsequently flew in with multiple aircraft, were moving aircraft around with tow bars and were witnessed pushing it off the bitumen onto a softer surface.
Were any aircraft or animals actually harmed in the process? Did anyone ask why it was actually moved? Were you there or is this second hand info?

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Old 16th Apr 2022, 01:19
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No one hurt who cares move on, bigger fish to fry
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Old 16th Apr 2022, 02:45
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....And their defence:

Parked aircraft not to create hazard (91.420)
A person must not park an aircraft in a place where it is a hazard to the movement of other aircraft
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Old 16th Apr 2022, 03:36
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The aircraft was parked in the correct area and within the boundaries denoted by a double yellow line. It was not causing an obstruction or hazard.
It was their aircraft that were subsequently parked so close that their wing was actually overhanging the wing of our aircraft and boxed it in.
In any case you should contact the owner of the aircraft if you need to move it and this is the responsibility of the ARO.
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Old 16th Apr 2022, 04:19
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I'd be calling the airport manager/ARO.

Presumably they know who the other arrivals were, and may show an interest in them moving other aircraft around on the AD without authorization and potentially causing damage, either to aircraft or the AD surface.
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Old 16th Apr 2022, 05:10
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Not good airmanship by the other pilots (if pilots moved the aircraft), however airmanship these days is somewhat non existent by some of the newly trained pilots theses days due to dismissal training and checking standards within some areas of the industry.

If the pilot of the aircraft that was moved subsequently flew it out without any action, apart from being disappointed because someone moved his/her aeroplane without their consent, all bets are off - case closed and get on with life. However, if the pilot refused to fly the aeroplane out without an engineering inspection due to potential damage, report it to the police and CASA before the next flight to enable them to investigate.

I doubt that the police or CASA will do anything if the pilot flew the aircraft out and elected to report the event after the aircraft left Roto.
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Old 16th Apr 2022, 05:18
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Definitely report it, I honestly wouldn't feel comfortable with someone else moving my Aircraft without my knowledge or being directly associated with the Aircraft in some way, you have no idea what they've done during the move. It's unlikely that they damaged anything but there's always that possibility and they may not even know it. Not to mention the stupidity of touching someone else's Aircraft without knowing the condition and any potential issues it has.

Have no idea why anyone here is defending them at all under the idea that no one got hurt so it's all good, that leads to the idea of just letting them do it until one day someone does get hurt and THEN doing something about it. This is not the industry for that kind of mindset.
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Old 16th Apr 2022, 05:20
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Originally Posted by CaptainMidnight View Post
I'd be calling the airport manager/ARO.

Presumably they know who the other arrivals were, and may show an interest in them moving other aircraft around on the AD without authorization and potentially causing damage, either to aircraft or the AD surface.
Yes that's been done.
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Old 16th Apr 2022, 11:57
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Criminal Code s408A

Originally Posted by Clare Prop View Post
Yes that's been done.
Try this offence (WA Criminal Code):

CRIMINAL CODE 1899 - SECT 408A

Unlawful use or possession of motor vehicles, aircraft or vessels

408A Unlawful use or possession of motor vehicles, aircraft or vessels


(1) A person who— (a) unlawfully uses any motor vehicle, aircraft or vessel without the consent of the person in lawful possession thereof; or (b) has in the person’s possession any motor vehicle, aircraft or vessel without the consent of the person in lawful possession thereof with intent to deprive the owner or person in lawful possession thereof of the use and possession thereof either temporarily or permanently; is guilty of a crime and is liable to imprisonment for 7 years.
(1A) If the offender uses or intends to use the motor vehicle, aircraft or vessel for the purpose of facilitating the commission of an indictable offence, the offender is liable to imprisonment for 10 years.
(1B) If the offender— (a) wilfully destroys, damages, removes or otherwise interferes with the mechanism (or part thereof) or other part of or equipment attached to the motor vehicle, aircraft or vessel; or (b) intends to destroy, damage, remove or otherwise interfere with the mechanism (or part thereof) or other part of or equipment attached to the motor vehicle, aircraft or vessel; the offender is liable to imprisonment for 12 years.

Last edited by Weapons Grade; 16th Apr 2022 at 11:58. Reason: lay-out
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Old 16th Apr 2022, 15:17
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Talking

And ALL of 'THIS' stems from aircraft parking for 'Hot Cross Buns'..??

So, who's the Bunny...= 'What's Up Doc'..???

Wasn't there - Nil connection - Just sayin'.....
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Old 16th Apr 2022, 19:44
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Clare prop,

I am a big believer in just culture, if something was done in good faith... We have to look at intent here..

I can't imagine someone pushing the aircraft off the bitumen in bad faith, yes it may have been a PITA to get it out of the soft stuff - but remember, most pilots do not do activites such as 4WD or have enough life experience to understand some of the 'big picture' things which may seem like common sense to others... For example I recall an incident when a C441 was turning around at a runway and went into the soft stuff, got bogged down, power was applied and the landing gear broke...

If it were me - I would have at least left a note "hey sorry, plane was in way for X reason, I moved it, hope you don't mind, I'll buy you a beer at the bar back at JT" for example.

But I also echo the sentiments above - being an aircraft owner - most damage occurs moving the thing around on the ground (hanger rash etc), and it can be stressful if someone has moved your aircraft without permission... Even when I was sharing a hanger with a beautiful replica spitfire (which is now at Whitegum) I would always message and ask first before moving his aircraft... As I would appreciate it if that's what someone did for me.

I think Weapons Grade is technically correct... As if a tow bar has been connected to the aircraft - then technically that person has unlawfully taken possession of it.. (same as hooking up a tow truck to a vehicle) without permission from the owner / operator / PIC.

Tampering however would be more a case of like what happened with that C206 where old mate loosened the strut bolts so the wings clapped after takeoff...

​​​​in any case, it sounds like RTI is getting a little crowded on some days, it may be worthwhile having as many operators as possible email the Rottnest authority and ask about the possibility of expanding the sealed surface parking area (especially for larger 6+ seaters that aren't easy to move in softer stuff).

​​​Anyway, inconsiderate - yes... Tampering.. not quite... (You could probably argue it risked property damage if started there with the new prop which is the angle you're going for I imagine) - but that could then be argued it was their choice to start it there as opposed to moving it first... Is it worth attempting to destroy someone's life over it? Probably not.. action taken should be proportionate to the conduct... So having a few words with whoever moved it and explain why they shouldn't have would be justified, giving them a criminal record - not so.

I would love to make some further comments on this topic with my own experience - but due to wanting to maintain legal privilege I cannot.. all will be revealed in a year or so after court... Hopefully regarding my case - the company and individuals involved, can be publically named and shamed.

Last edited by Sbaker; 17th Apr 2022 at 01:31.
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Old 16th Apr 2022, 21:47
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Unless the aircraft was on a Taiwan or a private parking spot with big bright lights that says "VH-ABC" parking ONLY, then this is an awful display of airmanship.

You. Don't. Touch. Someone. Else's. Aircraft. Without. Permission.

The club president needs to be contacted and availed of this information.
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Old 16th Apr 2022, 21:59
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The same thing regularly happens with boats. A boat may be needed to be moved for a host of reasons, at the jetty/dock to retrieve or launch other boats safely or when itís dragged anchor. Some whinge and some donít. Just another day in the boating world.
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Old 16th Apr 2022, 22:24
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The same thing regularly happens with boats. A boat may be needed to be moved for a host of reasons, at the jetty/dock to retrieve or launch other boats safely or when it’s dragged anchor. Some whinge and some don’t. Just another day in the boating world.
If you so much as jump onto a boat at our local pier without permission you will most likely get a visit from the local constabulary. Heavily monitored by CCTV on most bayside berthing piers in Melbourne and the owners don't take lightly to un-welcomed visitors, let alone you try to move someones parked boat. Now if you left a boat unattended at a launching ramp or such it's more fluid, especially if the vessel is creating a hazard to navigation, however you'd still be at a lot of legal risk by handling someone elses property without permission. But a private vessel parked in a legal area out of movement areas, nope, not a chance the owner will laugh it off. It would be no different if someone parked across your driveway and you took matters into your own hands and hotwired or rammed the car out of the way, rather than call the authorities to remove it.

Simple fix, buy a wheel clamp or two, no-one can roll your craft away then.
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