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missing airplane

Discussion in 'Adverse Possession' started by valorie johnston, Apr 27, 2020.

  1. valorie johnston

    valorie johnston Law Topic Starter New Member

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    On Sunday, March 1, 2020, I went to the airport where our 1958 Cessna 175 is kept, and it was simply gone. As the weather had not been good enough to fly, I hadn't been to the airport for maybe a week or so. I went home, and asked my husband where the airplane is. He simply said he could not keep track of everything, but maybe Chelan. He sold it to the brother of a friend without saying anything to me. The aircraft is registered in my name only. I called Chelan county sheriff, and they gave me a case number, but said that I would need to start in my home county of Okanogan. The Okanogan county sheriff returned my call later that day and explained to me that this is a civil matter, and then laughed at me. He said I need an attorney, but that since my husband has all the airplane money that he didn't think I have much of a chance. I immediately sent a letter to the FAA aircraft registry to notify them that I do not relinquish my interest in the airplane and that any attempt to change the registration is invalid and/or fraudulent. I also refused to sign a bill of sale for the aircraft. I think they are hiding the aircraft in Chelan, because I think they know that maybe something is not legitimate. I have a current registration, and also the most recent bill of sale for the aircraft in my name only. Can I just go get the airplane???
     
  2. PayrollHRGuy

    PayrollHRGuy Well-Known Member

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    What you can't do is anything illegal to get the plane back. You can't break into a hanger.

    Make sure that you have all the logbooks and everything that the law requires to be in the plane.
     
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  3. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    I would also be consulting divorce attorney's.
     
  4. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Huh? What does "but maybe Chelan" mean?

    Who is "he"? Your husband? If the plane is titled only in your name, how did "he" transfer title the friend's brother? Or is it still titled in your name?

    He's right (and maybe also a marriage counselor or divorce attorney).

    Who are "they"?

    We have no way of knowing what abilities you have. However, your post suggests that you don't know where the plane is, and it would obviously be impossible to "just go get" it if you don't know where it is.
     
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  5. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    I suggest you ask the county sheriff the above question.

    It would NOT hurt you to ask the above question of a lawyer licensed to practice law in WA, a lawyer that you HIRE!

    It isn't wise to seek permission to do anything from strangers who have no legal authority to endorse or approve any actions you decide to take.
     
  6. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    You should consult a Washington attorney first. Washington is a community property state. While the plane may be solely registered to you, if it is community property then your husband had part interest in the plane, and his sale may thus have transferred his part interest in the plane to the buyer. That could complicate matters in trying to simply take the plane from wherever it is stored now.
     
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  7. PayrollHRGuy

    PayrollHRGuy Well-Known Member

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  8. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    I see nothing there that requires all the owners to sign the bill of sale and I'm pretty sure that nothing in federal law prohibits a transfer of part ownership in the plane. Certainly nothing in the FAA regulations states that.

    The FAA does have certain requirements for the registration of aircraft, which includes that a legal owner of the aircraft as reflected in the FAA records be the registrant. Here, that would appear to be the OP. So the apparent purchaser of the husband's interest might have a problem in registering the plane. But the OP's question does not involve registration with the FAA. It involves the issue of ownership and right to possession of the plane, which are governed by state law. Note that the FAA certificate of registration is not a title document. The FAA does not issue titles to aircraft.
     
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  9. PayrollHRGuy

    PayrollHRGuy Well-Known Member

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    On the AC-8050-2 down in the Seller signature section.

    (IN INK) (IF EXECUTED FOR CO-OWNERSHIP, ALL MUST SIGN.)

    I know it isn't a title document but it isn't going to be legally registered without all owner's signatures on that form and if it isn't legally registered it can't be flown without a ferry permit.
     
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  10. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    PayrollHRGuy - are you a pilot? I thought I remembered you saying something about that some time ago. Or am I mixing you up with someone else?
     
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  11. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    I know Zig is a pilot.
     
  12. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Maybe flyingron?
     
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  13. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I saw that. But it isn't really very clear what it means. Again, I see nothing the federal statutes or FAA regulations that requires that all owners sign a bill of sale or that prohibits transfer of just a part interest in an airplane. So as far as I'm concerned, that statement on the form doesn't persuade me that it is a requirement that all owners must sign the bill of sale when the transfer is of a part interest.
     
  14. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    You might check with airports with ATC and try to find any record of the plane.
    Locating it could be difficult.
    Perhaps your insurer can be of assistance too.
    Having notified the FAA of potential fraud was likely your best move. If the buyer can't compete the transfer they may be contacting you before long.
    If your husband is not facilitating this then you have bigger problems. Hopefully any payment he collected is not out of your reach.

    The plane is not stolen. The police were right that this is a civil issue. Your husband is the key to a quick resolution.

    I agree with the above that your signature is required. If your husband signed for you then additional documentation would be required by the FAA. If the buyer is legit they will be coming back before long with complaints.
     
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  15. flyingron

    flyingron Well-Known Member

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    Log books are rarely kept in the aircraft. The only documents that are required in the plane are the registration and airworthiness certificate. Those are easily replaced if the sale (improper as it is) was reported to the FAA.

    The FAA registry folks are rightfully extremely picky about everybody who is listed signing and singing exactly as they have it in their records (down to the name "coowner" if that is listed). I've had legitimate transfers held up over small details. It sounds like you've done the right things with regard to notifying Oklahoma City.

    As for finding the plane, I'd speak to the airport manager at the airports you think the plane might be hidden. They often will know what is in their hangars (and often have right of inspection). You can also speak to local mechanics just in case the thing comes in for inspections or repairs.

    Note that there are two airports in Chelan. There's the main one (Lake Chelan) as well as a public use residential field. If you have a name associated with the person you think has the plane, you might see if he's one of the residents of Riverview airpark.
     
  16. PayrollHRGuy

    PayrollHRGuy Well-Known Member

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    I miswrote that. I should have written, ..."the logbooks as well as everything that is required to be kept in the aircraft...".
     
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  17. valorie johnston

    valorie johnston Law Topic Starter New Member

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  18. valorie johnston

    valorie johnston Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I am aware that the certificate of registration is not a proof of ownership, and also that the FAA does not issue titles to aircraft. I am in possession of the registration and the most recent bill of sale. The aircraft logs and details are no longer in my possession. They also flew away with my new headset, and not surprisingly no one wants to talk to me about it.
     
  19. valorie johnston

    valorie johnston Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Yes. I am a pilot.
     
  20. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    I was asking PayrollHRGuy, but thank you for confirming.
     

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