Pilot: Ultralight plane stolen from Lebanon County airport

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PALMYRA, Pa. (WHTM) – Police in Lebanon County are investigating after a plane disappeared from a South Londonderry Township airport in the last few days.

The road that runs in front of the Reigle Airport is pretty busy, so police hope that means somebody saw something out of the ordinary.

Tim Bowles works on ultralight aircraft in the hangar he rents at the airport.

“I actually took the engine off of this to put on my Quicksilver,” Bowles said, referencing another small craft in the space.

Now the plane he put the engine into is missing.

“It was here,” he said. “I went on vacation, I came back and came down to go flying last Friday night and it was gone.”

The $10,000 aircraft would have been easy for someone to start up with just a pull-cord, like the one on a lawnmower motor.

He thinks someone literally took off with it.

“More than getting the airplane back, I’d really like to catch the people that stole it,” Bowles said.

South Londonderry Township police are working on it. It’s the first time the chief there can remember someone stealing a plane.

They’re calling other local airports and the Federal Aviation Administration for help.

“It was heartbreaking. Me and my grandkids, you know, we come down here and take rides,” Bowles said. “It would be like a biker having his motorcycle taken. He’s not a happy camper.”

The privately-owned airport has 50 hangars. It’s been around since 1942. There aren’t cameras, but police say the owners are helping as much as they can.

Bowles is calling around to local flying clubs and posting pictures online hoping someone recognizes it.

“You’re going to get caught,” Bowles warned. “That’s the bottom line. You’re going to get caught. There’s rare parts on that airplane. There’s parts on that airplane that there was only 120 of them made. So take your best shot with it, that’s all I can tell them.”

Anyone with information is asked to call the South Londonderry Township Police Department at 717-838-1376.Get breaking news, weather and traffic on the go. Download the ABC27 News App and the ABC27 Weather App for your phone and tablet.

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