Gang Allegedly Tags $2.3 Million Jet At Van Nuys Airport

Not content with putting its mark on buildings and train cars, a gang has allegedly taken things to a higher level by tagging a $2.3 million jet. The graffiti artists snuck into Van Nuys Airport in Los Angeles to scrawl the words “R.I.P.” and “flame” across a Learjet Model 60.

It’s estimated the jet’s owners will have to pony up $110,000 to fix the plane. The FBI and Los Angeles police are investigating how the secure area was breached, with authorities believing the tags may be “gang related and gang initiated.”

“This is a big deal to me, to have somebody who could get onto the airfield and who could do that kind of damage, that kind extensive graffiti to an aircraft, and not be seen,” Los Angeles Airport Police Chief Patrick Gannon tells the Aviation Writer. “I’m not happy about it.”

[via news.com.au]

Investigators Say TWA 800 Crash Not An Accident

Skybunny, Wikimedia Commons

It’s been almost 17 years since Paris-bound TWA Flight 800 exploded and crashed into waters off Long Island, New York, killing 230 people on board. A parallel investigation by the CIA and FBI deemed the root of the accident was a fuel tank explosion, but now, six former investigators have stepped forward claiming there was a cover up.

Yahoo! is reporting that an upcoming documentary on the accident claims to have proof that a missile caused the flight to crash. One investigator maintains that information provided by more than 750 witnesses was never shared with the FBI, while another says he was “physically removed” by CIA agents from a room when tests from the right wing of the plane came back positive for explosives.

According to the news outlet, the former investigators filed a petition with the National Transportation Safety Board on Wednesday that called for the case to be reopened, but none of them are speculating on who would have fired the missile or on any reasons for the alleged cover up. We’ll leave it up for readers to draw their own conclusions after watching the film, which premieres on EPIX on July 17, the anniversary of the disaster.

Man Says He Poisoned All Passengers Aboard Hong Kong To New Jersey Flight

United Plane
Franco Folini, Flickr

A man is being questioned by authorities after he claimed to have poisoned everyone traveling on United Flight 116. The flight, which was making its way from Hong Kong to Newark’s Liberty Airport, landed at 1:34 p.m. today, several hours after a male passenger made the frightening declaration.

According to news reports, the passenger was in an emotionally disturbed state. He made the announcement about having poisoned everyone on board several hours before the flight was due to arrive in New Jersey.Despite this, the FBI said the decision was made not to divert the plane to a closer airport. Instead, flight attendants surrounded the man along with a number of other passengers who volunteered to help restrain him for the duration of the flight.

Both local police and FBI agents were notified and were ready to meet the plane as soon as it landed. According to an FBI spokesman, there is no evidence that any passengers were actually poisoned.

FBI hunts for close in Miami-Boston bomb threats

The FBI is looking for common denominators in bomb threats on American Airlines flights between Miami and Boston. Two cases have arisen, prompting the FBI to dig a little deeper. The most recent incident occurred on Wednesday, when a flight attendant found “bomb on board, Boston-Miami” written on a bathroom cabinet. A search of the luggage yielded no bombs or other weapons.

On September 17, a flight attendant found a threatening note in the lavatory – the plane had departed Miami at around 9:30 PM and had to head back only 40 minutes later. Again, a search of the plane turned up nothing.

Too coincidental to be a coincidence, it seems, the FBI is looking for any common threads that may exist.

New York once again safest city in U.S.

New York was once again the safest city in the United States last year, according to Federal Bureau of Investigation statistics Michael Bloomberg. Well, in fairness, the mayor did cite stats from the FBI. And, he wasn’t shy about pointing out that crime fell another 12 percent in the first five months of 2009. New York is tops among the 25 largest cities in the country.

Stretch the standard to cities with populations of over 100,000 (261 in all), and 245 cities have higher crime rates. So, a city of more than 8 million people compares with Torrance, California and McKinney, Texas.

Last year, murders fell 21 percent (43 fewer slayings), and rapes declined 17 percent. 491 fewer cars were stolen, and there were 1,415 fewer robberies. The city’s murder count in 2008, 523, was the second lowest since 1961 … when New York started keeping track.

So, come to New York. Crime is down, and hotels and flights are cheaper than ever!