AOPA says it's following with interest the case of Super Cub allegedly stolen by a homeless man from a neighboring hangar at the organization's home airport at Frederick, Md. "The Frederick airport, headquarters of AOPA, is a big proponent of Airport Watch," Craig Spence, AOPA vice president of operations and international affairs, said in a report on AOPA Online. "AOPA will be following the developments of this investigation and will work to ensure future security practices prevent this type of act." AOPA co-sponsors Airport Watch with the Transportation Security Administration and often points to the widespread participation in the program when the TSA starts talking about beefing up GA security. In fact, it appears someone was watching at FDK at 2:30 a.m. Dec. 28 when it's alleged that Calvin Craig Cox started the Cub, a tow plane owned by the Mid Atlantic Soaring Association, and taxied it out of their hangar, which a member told AOPA was always kept locked and showed no signs of forced entry.
It's not clear whether the aircraft ever got airborne before it nosed over near Runway 30. News reports say a witness saw a man running from the aircraft. Police followed tracks in the snow and found Cox near a barn about an hour later. He's been charged with theft, second- and fourth-degree burglary, and trespassing. The FAA registry does not list anyone by that name as holding any type of pilot certificate. AOPA says aircraft theft is rare in the U.S. and the tow plane was only the seventh reported in 2009.