Coping: Who Tried to Shoot Us Down?

imageAs I have told you before,  flying small airplanes is a lot of fun and it’s a great way to get out and see America up close and personal, without waiting for the car in front of you to move., and so forth.

Unfortunately, today I have to go into town, take a bunch of digital pictures of bullet holes in the bottom of our airplane – shots which could only have been made while we were flying it!

Here’s the write-up of the document that will be submitted to the local police department a move recommended by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association:

REF: Attempted Aircraft Shootdown

Incident Date: Believed to be between 5/22/2015 and 7/27/2015

My wife, Elaine Petersen-Ure and I own a 1966 Beechcraft Musketeer; model A23-19, serial number MB-129. This aircraft is hangered at Palestine Airport. Airport code KPSN.

While performing routine maintenance on the aircraft on August 25 (right flap adjustment) my mechanic (Jeremy Bogan, IA/AP, Tel. (903) *** **** discovered what appears to be nine (9) .22 caliber bullet holes in the underside of our aircraft.

Both myself and Mr. Bogan did not notice these bullet holes at the time of a thorough annual inspection on 5/22/2015 at which time extensive maintenance was conducted.

Upon initial inspection (pulling one inspection plate) we were unable to find any bullets. Mr. Bogan will continue his inspection work Friday (and into next week as required) to ensure continued airworthiness of the aircraft.

The bullet holes are grouped from approximately the middle of the right wing root, but between structural members including spar, and extending diagonally aft and toward the tail.  Only the thin aluminum skin was pierced.

Mr. Bogan will conduct photography of the damage (as will I) in order to document what is found.

The purpose of filing this report is as advised by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association as this is the home airport of the aircraft since the aircraft has flown more than 5,000 miles since annual inspection.

Additionally, if any bullet(s) are recovered during inspection I would request that forensic information be obtained if possible and shared with FBI/DHS as this may not be an isolated incident.

If any airworthiness issues are found, they will be covered by insurance (the reason to file the police report).

The real problem is that we have no idea where this occurred.  We both wear noise-cancelling headphones and the inside of the airplane is 85 dbm at low engine speeds and takeoff is 93-96 dbm at high speed cruise.

Along with the brief description above, I will submit a narrative of when and where the aircraft has flown in this period (a bit more than 50-flight hours and 21 landings in13 cities 9 or 9 states.

Still, thought I would mention it as we will not be doing any writing about specifics of when we plan to fly anywhere in advances.  Or, since we have already announced Dubuque, IA in early October, we’ll come at it from something other than the expected direction.

A further problem is (although unlikely) that these holes are even older.  But I have my “suspects” in mind already, not the least of which is the low altitude flying over the high country up in Montana where the airplane was at 8,500 feet, or higher, but up there we were only 1,000 feet over the ground or so.

These look like  low energy impacts, so something like the airplane at 3,000 feet above ground over Nebraska and some idiot kid with a .22 rile.  But like I say, we’ll see if we can find a bullet since there are no exit wounds.

My son is working up a Kevlar mat idea for under the occupant seats and along the bottom of the aircraft along critical control cables.

I know from my news chasing days I have previous burned up several of my
“nine lives” but looking at the holes I found myself wondering “How many did this little discovery burn up?”

Yes, it was a good thing to pull the mags for the 500-hour service and have Jeremy do a minor right flat adjustment.  That’s when we found it.

I never thought prepping would extend to the airplane, but now I know that there are some sick, screwed up people out there, including the likes of gangs and such, so honestly Ures truly is beginning to wonder if the FAA would allow an aircraft being fired upon to shoot back?

We would certainly be able to arrange that…

Prep the airplane, or time to start shopping for an M-RAP to get groceries in?

The other way of looking at it? 

My disappointment in what America has become is not misplaced. 

This is the first time in 15 years, or so, of being a mechanic my IA has seen this kind of thing, but I’ve heard tales before.  We’ll be doing less summertime flying when irresponsible teenagers can get at a a .22 when mommy and daddy are at work. 

Shooting at airplanes is a federal crime and is considered attempted murder.  And if I knew who it was, the problem would not reoccur. .

Now  on that sour note, let’s all go watch the market drop toward S&P 1,820, shall we?

Oh This Explains Things

Moody neurotics may be creative geniuses.

An Odd Religion Note

Light from a couple of stars and having a telescope aimed at the right spot in space has resulted in a spectacular photo of  Butterfly Wings in space.

So here’s a very curious thought that wanders by:  Since we know there is a lot of confusion between astral travel and religious experience, is is just remotely possible that when old time religious types were talking about “angel wings” that they may have been referring to phenomena like this one in this report?

And could such dream/astral travel confusion occur more, periodically, as Earth wanders through various dust clouds?

And…is that why some religions ban drugs, except for the priestly cults, so they can impose toll roads and road blocks on the rest of us?

Weird thought, I know, but an interesting one to me…

Peoplenomics tomorrow:  A technical note from Robin Landry and my further thoughts on whats ahead between now and the great collapse in 2017’ish.

Write when you break-even



Coping: Who Tried to Shoot Us Down? — 30 Comments

  1. When a nation no longer obeys its laws and instead obeys men…then you no longer have a republic. Lawlessness is becoming the standard, and IMHO, I believe it will get worse and worse. Why? It is pretty clear that there is no law abiders at the top or the bottom of the food chain…so pretty soon, the middle, which is getting squeezed very hard, and more to come….will figure out that breaking the law IS THE NEW LAW….and then it will be a free for all. Due to this spiraling down behavior occurring across not only America, but other developed nations (and undeveloped nations)…a certain kind of frequency has been set and it’s Mother is REBELLION….Best to keep your private life private from now on…those of us that have been enjoying your site for many years will miss the details…but we care more that you both survive these tumultuous times….in one way, your letting us know so many details WAS a form of protection, especially from the IRS, the counter intelligence agencies that are now totally focused on ‘patriots, and critical thinking Americans’, however, you all are honest and have nothing to fear…and now, too much info can be dangerous…so take your self-protection measures and be safe.

  2. We didn’t bother wearing the flack jackets issued to us but instead used them as seat cushions. Funny how considerable time was spent on training recruits to engage aircraft with small arms and I would bet 99% of them couldn’t even come close but a hungry little bad guy hiding in the bush using a busted up old rifle could raise some hell.

  3. Just wondering if it could have happened on a previous flight. How often do you have maintenance done in order to notice it?

    • We know it happened in a timeframe of 5/22 to 7/27 this year. In that time we visited probably 9 states, 42 landings and takeoffs at 21 different airports, 51 hours of flight time and way more than 5,000 miles. Still, on file now with local PD and FBI for cross refs

  4. testing 1 2 3 the person the shot what was a Hunter he felt guilty after the fact that he had shot in his condition he’s a rugged course and he’s a kind of a rude person but the hunter is dying from a disease and it came the shot came from a boat and if you can check from the shot from a shotgun it probably has Santonin and then it which he was using his special shells that he wrapped himself so when he was shooting duck or geese and then the when he did early in the morning and his system faltered and he did not notice or pay attention or could not hear the plane coming the plane hadn’t pass but was coming toward in his direction of the ducks or something could have been geese and when he shot he really had a heart attack knowing that when he shot up there that there was a plane there after the fact when the plane went by and he noticed the plane kept going and he hope no one was hurt

  5. It’s not humanly possible to do what these projectiles did with a .22LR directed against a plane with your cruise speed at even the 1,000′ altitude-

    You were probably shot at on approach or takeoff. Almost certainly on approach.

    And it is far more likely it was done by a shotgun with fairly large shot than a .22 semi auto rifle, or even an illegally modified full auto .22 rifle. Could a diagram of the hits be posted? You will almost certainly find some projectiles on a careful search, as these were not “through and through”.

    Been shooting things since I was 8, and know a bit about under what conditions infantry ground fire can be used effectively against aircraft (it’s very hard to get a hit. Even with a light or medium MG).

  6. Hey G.. OMG re: Bullet holes in plane. It probably was a .22 at low altitude. A .223 or 30-30 with a tight group like that, would have gone thru the plane and out the roof.

    BTW…if the hole is there, a bullet is rattling around somewhere in the tail of the plane. I’m sure the mechanic will find it.

  7. FYI any GA flight you make that is IFR or Utilizing ATC flight following can be tracked in real time on an open web site, FlightAware. You can be tracked by tail number, destination or arrival airports or aircraft type. This is available to anyone. This would make it easy to set you up for the type of attack you experienced. Especially, on final approach or departure.

  8. Flying low and slow over a “unknown” pot field. I bet recon gov planes are tagged on a regular basis.

  9. Right! A shotgun blast with #6 shot or smaller would seem to make more sense. Glad you had “E” with you, she has plenty of lives left! HA!

  10. 110 MPH is over 160 feet per second. No way to get off nine shots in the time window a person on the ground would actually be able to shoot at your plane while it was moving.

    • Person on the ground? What? Laying on their back and shooting up into the belly of the AC from various angles?

  11. ….found a small caliber bullet hole in my pickup door, beneath the drivers side window…l heard the sound, but though a hunk of rock or something in the road had hit my door…mechanic verified that it was a bullet hole..and here l thought rural living was the best!!

  12. GU,
    if you are flying at 140mph ground speed at alt. of 1000 ft,
    then the shooter on the ground would need a lead of abt 200 ft & the 22 cal bullet would need to travel roughly 600 yds or so to hit your plane. This is a feat only a marksman of Lee Harvey Oswald abilities could handle, especially multiple shots considering winds between you and the shooter. Better to look for rowdy squirrels on the ground or other vandals!

  13. sheesh! who took that bullet hole photo, NASA? But seriously, there is a reason that people say to ‘stay out of small planes’! Glad to hear you are selling it before too long. ‘hopefully’ it was just some stupid mountain kid with a .22, and not something more nefarious. no wellstones around here please!

  14. remember an ar15/m16 is .223 aka a .22 presumably
    on full auto to hit you 9 times in flight!

  15. That number of holes can only come from a converted semi-auto to full auto. Guess someone just had to try out their mod.

  16. Perform a ‘walk around’ inspection of the plane before and after every flight. It’ll add five to ten minutes to your schedule, but it’s worth the effort, if you do it right.

  17. Who would have thought you’d need a kevlar ‘bathtub’ in a private plane…sick, sick, sick. Maybe an upgrade to a Super Tucano is in order? :)

  18. I have doubts that it was a 22. It would be a miracle to get nine 22 shots in that sort of small grouping on a 1,000 foot vertical shot for a moving plane.

    • Looks like a 223 to me, wow are the Columbians that far into are country. I thought they were 80 miles from Phoenix, in the mountains. Send in the military please

    • Right! A shotgun blast with #6 or smaller shot would make more sense. Glad you had “E” with you, she has plenty of “lives” left. Ha!

  19. Hi George,

    Sorry to hear of your aircraft incident. I do believe that the FBI has jurisdiction over any vandalism and/or attack on an aircraft. You might want to check on this and get them involved if you wish. It’s distressing for all of us as pilots. I’m not sure how you could determine if this was targeted at you or just an opportunistic crime.

    A thought here is to refine your kevlar ballistic shield, get an STC on it, and license manufacture. By the grace of God, it seems you were only targeted with a .22.

    Good luck.