Friday, August 06, 2010

Just Conjecturin', Volume 23: So What Happened to the Plane?

Last post, I reprised the history of the non-fatal 2007 plane crash of the rented jet carrying AP executives Scott Tom and Hilt Tatum and their spouses, showing how the crash and a possible resumption of the intended vacation by the two executive couples corresponding with a brief gap and subsequent Caribbean island-hopping jaunt by one or more of the people behind the AP insider cheating scandal, showing that the dates offered some interesting circumstantial connections.

Not included in that post was the fact that the crashed Sabreliner was flown over to Costa Rica from Panama, picking up at least one passenger in San Juan (if not all of them), and its subsequent destination from Costa Rica as reported here was Cartegena, Columbia, not St. Lucia or Antigua.

Those same forums and stories I linked to in the previous post included many wild rumors and allegations, including one that someone on the crashed plane was carrying $2-3 million in cash, hence rampant speculation about the planned Cartegena flight.

That stuff is rumor. The following is far more factual: The Panamanian company that rented the plane, Jet Lease Corp., Inc., decided to abandon the lightly crashed plane at the Juan Santamaria airport in Costa Rica, despite significant salvage value estimated at $350,000 of the plane's original $1 million worth. It's more curious because parts from the plane are now showing up on the Latin American black market for airplane parts, as detailed in this piece.

Why would any company abandon a third of a million dollars in plane parts that can easily be sold, as has now started to happen?


Vince Rex said...

Well, there are a lot of reasons to abandon a plane.

Even a "lightly crashed" one needs extensive work to assure airworthiness. In the US, the work has to be completed by a licensed mechanic, has to be inspected by the FAA, etc.

It really could be that the work was too extensive to perform in LA, and that there was no way to insure the thing without the work being done.

For reference, I'm licensed as a commercial pilot (not turbine rated, however) and have worked in maintenance for a jet leasing company.

I don't mean to discourage your investigation, and appreciate it fully, but just wanted to say that there may be some sort of reasonable explanation.

Haley said...

I don't doubt you a bit, but there was clearly hundreds of thousands in salvage value that the firm owning the plane could have reclaimed. One need not make the plane fly to dismantle it for parts.