Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
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By Flintstone
I've always left mine unlocked while in the hangar. If they're determined enough to break in through industrial grade corrugated steel sheets or cut off a hardened steel padlock they'll make a right mess of an aircraft lock and door.

There's never anything in the aircraft worth stealing apart from a radio and transponder which are replacable. Damage to the door and fuselage would at the very least ground the aircraft for months, if not write it off.
PeteSpencer, Boxkite, Maxthelion and 1 others liked this
By Lefty
Echoing @Flintstone - A (good) few years ago there was a spate of thefts from aircraft at my home base, very little of value was taken - but the damage to the doors and locks of those a/c that were locked - ran into hundreds of pounds - and several were grounded for weeks whilst awaiting parts / repair.
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By Rob P
Flintstone wrote:I've always left mine unlocked while in the hangar.

As we do. Partly to avoid unnecessary damage if the worst happens, but also as we leave the canopy slightly open under its cover for air circulation.

I learned that lesson when some scrotes tried to steal my GSXR and it cost me a lot of money and aggravation to get the headlock which they couldn't defeat, but b*ggered comprehensively, replaced.

The requirement for a spare is that both of us have arrived at the hangar at one time or another without our keys, and whilst we could access the aircraft and sit inside going "brmmm... brmmm", we were unable to fly.

Rob P
Last edited by Rob P on Tue Dec 08, 2020 10:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
By aerofurb
A 35mm film cannister (remember those) secreted securely (cable tied or similar) and safely (away from flying control runs) behind an inspection panel (wing root closing strip etc) provides a perfect storage place for a spare key for those forgetful moments or when the key has been dropped in the grass away from base...

Okay, you need a screwdriver but they're normally more readily found than a matching key.
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By CloudHound
A Cessna 172 Wass stolen from Barton many years ago and chased to the south coast by an instructor in a Slingsby.

It was up for sale and the thief managed to distract the seller with bundles of fake cash long enough to get in and go.

I'll see if I can dig up the story.
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By CloudHound
Here's something from the Forum
The Barton incident (May 24 1986) ended on a military airfield in France (Creil). I called in at Barton after it had happened, as at the time I used to do occasional A/G radio duties, but I missed the drama. The story is related in the "3 score years and ten" book on the histroy of the Lancashire Aero Club. The chap got off lightly, with a 6-month sentance (half of it suspended) and £860.76 compensation to pay - even though he'd stolen a BMW as well as the C172. He said he did it to draw attention to "Help The Aged"
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By PeteSpencer
riverrock wrote:The forum was going in 1986? :lol:
(I was aged 3 then so not surprised I don't remember that!)

Flyer Forum started Aug 2003 ish, a spin off of the 'Flyer List', the majority of whose members largely decamped to the Flyer forum then, but the List still struggles on with a dozen of so members.................

I still have the List TAP hat (two actually-don't ask). :lol:
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By Red
No locks on mine and the ignition key hangs off a pin in the cockpit :|
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By PeteSpencer
We always lock our arrer:
20 years ago the hangar was broken into by prising the corrugated iron cheapo cladding.

Mercifully as a one-off the previous flyer had forgotten to lock the aeroplane:

The scrotes ignored two perfectly saleable sets of DCs in the cabin and nicked the PLB , the dinghy, and the ignition keys which were dangling from the altimeter knob.

They took the dinghy to a local stream, , pulled it , messed about in it for a bit then knifed it.

They set the PLB off, resulting in a phone call from Kinloss (I think) may have been before Kinloss: confirming we were OK as we'd already reported the theft to them.

Upshot was we had to have new lockbarrels all round, had a set of keys made for each member, and re-clad /beefed up the hangar with ex USAAF cladding from Mildenhall as well as wood shuttering lining the interior. Small gaps left at the top of walls under the eaves for some wind to blow through so no condensation problems.

Would have been a lot more costly if we'd locked it.
Interestingly Old Bill did DNA testing on an alcopops bottle left behind, and identified a local (female) tearaway. We were advised not to take it further for fear of getting a flaming rag (or worse) through the doors.................. :wink:
Last edited by PeteSpencer on Tue Dec 08, 2020 10:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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By tcinbg
quote/We were advised not to take it further for fear of getting a flaming rag (or worse) through the doors.................. :wink:[/quote]

Surely enough time has now passed for some adequate retribution? :D