12/31/2007. Elmer Carlson writes stories about his flying experiences. Read this story about flying a Luscombe 8A similar to his 8B pictured above.
Elmer explains the sad condition of his Luscombe this way: "The plane was powered by a 65 hp Lycoming engine. I co-owned it from 1950-1952 and had a lot of fun with it until this incident when it was 'borrowed' by two teenagers one night. I found the plane in this condition the next morning and had a good cry. The local newspaper called it 'The Caper of the Night Flying Plane'. No one was ever charged with the crime. The local sheriff made some investigations and questioned two suspects, but couldnít get a confession from either of them. The primary suspect lived in another county so the sheriff didnít have any jurisdiction for an arrest anyway. After all they were just a couple of air minded teenagers. Although the investigation was active for a while it finally ground to a halt.
Several months later, after my partner and I had purchased a Luscombe 8A (N71407), I was approached one afternoon at the airport by a young man who I suspected was the passenger on the night flight. He told me that stealing the plane was not his idea and that he was really sorry about the way things turned out. He looked so sad that I offered to take him for a ride. Later, the 'pilot', confessed his part in the crime and promised that he would make payments when he got a good job, but the good job evidently never materialized because I saw very little of him. However, the 'passenger' did get his pilotís license and several years later started a private airport. Some stories do have a good ending."
09/18/2010. An update from Elmer Carlson: "An interesting thing happened today. The suspected passenger stopped by my house and introduced himself and asked if I was ever paid for the airplane. I said I had never heard from the pilot and forgot about it. He told me he had been looking for me for several years and was here to pay me off. He said he had a thousand dollars and hoped that would be enough. I told him that wasn't really necessary as its been about sixty years since the mishap, but he told me he would feel a lot better if I would accept the payment."