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


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