Charter plane reportedly broken into at airport
A charter aircraft belonging to Blessings Aviation Charter was broken into on Thursday and had $40,000 worth of equipment stolen, according to the company’s accountable manager, Theodore Thompson.
Thompson said the charter airline, based at Jet Aviation, has three aircraft – two Piper Aztecs and one Cessna 402.
However, he said the incident took place at a maintenance facility not connected to Jet Aviation.
“Saturday, I did a regular routine,” Thompson said.
“Of course, the aircraft was in maintenance.
“Our aircraft are always in maintenance every 50 to 100 hours for inspections.
“…Upon my findings, when I went into the aircraft I noticed a very valuable, very expensive piece of equipment, which is the GPS Garmin 530, was missing out of the aircraft.”
Thompson said he promptly called the mechanic, then the airport police station. He said that the matter is currently pending investigation.
He said camera footage from the maintenance facility showed a man dressed in camouflage clothing with a mask on jumping the gate of another facility to gain access to the aircraft.
Thompson said that one would have to be skilled to remove the equipment because it can’t be pried out of the aircraft. He said it takes special tools and knowledge for removal and installation.
He added that the thief broke into another aircraft afterward.
The GPS devices, according to Thompson, are valued at around $40,000 to $50,000 each.
“It’s very sad because you know the airport is supposed to be a highly secured area,” he said.
“We are faced with paying taxes and fees to NAD (Nassau Airport Development Company), airport authority and you know we’re not pointing any fingers but we’re just asking for clarity and a resolution.
“It happened twice in the same night, it could happen again.”
He added that the theft was an extreme safety breach because the thief could have just as easily started a plane and taken off.
Contacted yesterday for comment on the matter, Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority Captain Charles Beneby declined to comment until the police investigation has concluded.