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Old 03-30-2017, 04:44 PM
riobison riobison is offline
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Oliver BC & Red Deer Alberta Canada
Posts: 323
Default B&E, theft and into the engine compartment

Last fall my hanger was broke into and my car a Dodge Viper as stolen, tools stolen, drain sumps removed from the plane and fuel put into the Viper. End cost so far is north of $70,000

Any way this has all been a big headache as you can well imagine with 3 different insurance claims. The car was the main target. They were into the fuel tanks on the wings to fuel the empty tank on the car. I have borescoped and flushed them and I'm satisfied they are ok.

The engine is a different deal. They had been into the engine compartment (it was open). It appeared something has been added to the oil due to the 2 slightly different colors on the dip stick.

I've drained the oil and sent sample away to be tested but nothing could be found at the lab. I've borescoped what I could on the bottom end as well as put a magnet in and nothing was found out of the ordinary.

I flushed the engine with fuel and the last little bit of flush brought out some soft particles that I can't identify. (might even be the normal sludge that's built up on an engine with 700hrs) The engine has not been run since this incident so I'm not concerned about damage.

Anyway I'm not going to rest easy until I pull the oil sump and give it a proper cleaning and look see. It's an O360 in a RV4.

So my question is how many hours for this job? Seems straight forward enough in pulling the pan off. I'm assuming with no problems it's probably a 6 or 8 hr job to remove the exhaust, intake, carb etc and get the pan out of there and back on?

Anything I'm missing? Any special unforeseen Lycoming tools needed? Probably need to order new exhaust nuts, exhaust gaskets, intake tubes, oil pan gasket, carb gasket, mouse's milk. Anything else Im missing on this? The engine was built in the late 90's so the only thing that comes to mind is probably to check the oil pump and AD's at this point. Anything I'm missing?



All of this happened at an airport in the South Okanogan here in Canada.

Last edited by riobison : 03-30-2017 at 04:46 PM. Reason: place of incident being added
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Old 03-30-2017, 05:53 PM
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flyboy1963 flyboy1963 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Lake Country, B.C. Canada
Posts: 2,359

Sorry to hear of this Tim, especially at Oliver.....proving that putting fences around airfields just keeps the honest people out!

I wonder how the Viper ran on leaded 100? really good, or really bad?

sad to say someone was watching the last time you were out for a sunny sunday drive, and the engine tampering was, as you say, incidental, and perhaps, nothing more than a bottle of coke dumped in .....for .....'fun'.

Perhaps calling Aerosport or Okanagan Aero would give you a 'tear-down' or re/re cost....I am assuming you intend to do the work, but insurance will cover some of the labour and materials?

please keep us posted how this turns out, from the various angles.
Perry Y.
RV-9a - SOLD!....
kinda missing it!
Lake Country, BC

....paid up til Nov. 2018
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Old 03-30-2017, 07:02 PM
terrye terrye is offline
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Posts: 723
Default B&E, theft and into the engine compartment

Sorry to hear about this. 100LL is bad for cars, the lead in the fuel "poisons" th catalytic converters, that's the main reason mogas no longer has lead. The car may run, but I think the cats are done, maybe the oxygen sensors as well.
Terry Edwards
RV-9A (Fuselage)
2018/2019 VAF Contribution Sent
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Old 03-30-2017, 09:23 PM
moosepileit moosepileit is offline
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Floyds Knobs, IN
Posts: 311

Hopefully they were looking for a fuel quick drain remote valve under the oil door and did nothing else.

No OnStar or similar tracker?

Any Piper pilots with a criminal record in the area?
RV-6 N91GG, bought from builder.
O-320, slider, carb, mags, FP
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Old 03-30-2017, 10:56 PM
riobison riobison is offline
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Oliver BC & Red Deer Alberta Canada
Posts: 323

Yes, all the fences do is keep the honest people out. But it does appear that the criminals knew the combination for the gate to get into the airport. Knew their way around aircraft (quick drains on the bottom of the wings of a low wing to get the last drop out) mostly aviation related hand tools/sheet metal working tools stolen. As well they were mechanically inclined enough to mess with the wiring enough to get the Viper going. That in itself is amazing as there appeared to be more than one person involved. By the way stuff was done in there my guess there was a drug and substance induced haze as well.

Yes I'll do the work as a couple of the local AMEs appear to be too busy at this time of the year. I'll call in the morning to place my order on parts. The insurance company on the plane have been real good. The car not so much.

The amount of fuel through the cats would probably do minimal damage as they were hi flow cats. The car needs the octane so not a big deal. The O2 sensors are probably toast. The paint etc needs doing and won't really know what else until we get into it.

I've been at numerous airports in nearly 40 yrs of flying and I have never so much as seen or heard of anything like this. For the most part airports have been fairly secure at least in Alberta. From my research at this airport over the last 8 years there have been at least a dozen documented case files with the RCMP. I wish I would have know about this before. Times are changing for sure in our country and a lot of problems in this area that appear to be getting worse.

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Old 03-31-2017, 07:36 AM
fixnflyguy fixnflyguy is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Winston-Salem, N.C.
Posts: 951
Default Horrible!

Several years back, a few hangars at our airport were broken into, but not by anyone "smart" enough to do that..unfortunately, while stealing a golf cart, they hit the elevator on a beautiful T-6. I keep a simple game camera in my hangar, not that it would stop anyone, but its well hidden and would likely capture who-dun-it pictures. Many of the other tenants have done the same, and I now live on the airport, so chances of it happening again are slim, but I can only imagine how you are feeling about this..I know how I would. As far as your RV-4 engine, I doubt you will gain much by pulling the sump/pan, if you were able to remove the drain fitting and peek in with a boro.
Bill E.
8A7 / Advance NC
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Old 03-31-2017, 09:06 AM
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Snowflake Snowflake is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 3,271

Sadly this is not as isolated an incident as one would hope. Langley had a similar break-in a year or two ago, someone stole a large pickup truck out of a locked hangar with 3 RV's in it. No aircraft tampering was evident however.

Before that happened some work benches were stolen that had been temporarily left outside overnight. At the time I thought it might have been a case of someone thinking they were headed to the trash heap and they just grabbed them for their own hangar, but after the pickup was stolen i'm not so sure.

The locked gate can discourage the lazy. It won't discourage the determined.
Rob Prior
1996 RV-6 "Tweety" C-FRBP (formerly N196RV)
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Old 04-07-2017, 07:47 AM
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jcarne jcarne is offline
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Worland, Wyoming
Posts: 676

Tim, really sorry to hear about this, it made me mad just reading it! I can only imagine how it made you feel. Good luck with fixing this mess I'll be following.
Jereme Carne
RV-7A Emp. done
Wings mostly done
Fuselage almost done
Finish kit arrived
Exempt but gladly paying!
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Old 04-07-2017, 08:35 AM
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BCP Boys BCP Boys is offline
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Kennesaw, Ga
Posts: 600

Originally Posted by riobison View Post

Times are changing for sure in our country and a lot of problems in this area that appear to be getting worse.

This has nothing to do with your situation but I was reading this and it reminded me of my sister who lives in Vancouver... Her house was broken in to last month, they picked a 4 foot high safe from the bedroom and put it in her car that was parked in the garage, filled the car up with more valuables like paintings and rugs, and drove the car out of the garage stealing the car and everything in it.
The neighbors saw the car pulling out of the garage with someone else driving it but thought they were either friends of my sister or family members that were visiting and just "borrowing" the car. Never crossed their mind to call the police.

Things are certainly changing in the World that we live in. Criminals are getting bolder and I feel scared for my children and their off springs as to what type of World they will living in 100 years from now.

Sorry for your loss .
RV-7 QB - N174WM
Supporting VAF since the first visit
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Old 04-07-2017, 12:56 PM
lr172 lr172 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Schaumburg, IL
Posts: 3,425

Given that you have not run the engine, simply pulling and cleaning the sump should remove all trace of the foreign substance. No need for a tear down or do further work. I would also consider just pouring gasoline or mineral spirits, two quarts at a time into the sump after draining it, to flush it without removing it (excess gas that couldn't be drained should evaporate in a couple of days) unless you suspect something other than a liquid was added.
RV-6A / IO-320, Flying as of 8/2015
RV-10 in progress
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