The owner of the mystery plane that landed at the Belize Municipal Airport in October with no passengers or known cargo has come forward and is petitioning Belizean authorites to have his aircraft returned to him.
The small Piper Seneca aircraft landed at the Municipal Airstrip in Belize City on October 27th around 5:40 a.m. but by the time police arrived on the scene, pilot and cargo, if any, had departed.
And while investigators remain clueless as to who flew the plane into an unauthorized zone and vanished, the Reporter has been able to confirm that an American national claiming to be the owner of the aircraft has contacted the Ministry of National Security and the Civil Aviation Department to get it back.
According to CEO in the Ministry of National Security George Lovell, US citizen James Stallings has presented documentation establishing ownership of the aircraft, and also lease documents claiming that at the time it landed in Belize, it had been rented out. Documents sent to the Ministry indicate that the plane was being flown by another pilot who rented it between October 18th, and October 23rd, 2015.
Stallings’ attorney in Belize, Steve Perrera, has told authorities that Stallings was unable to contact the pilot after October 23rd, and had actually contacted relevant authorities in the US to track down the missing plane.
Interestingly, the pilot had filed a flight plan from Aruba to the Phillip Goldson International airport on Sunday, October 25th, two days after the plane was to be returned. Instead, it landed at the Municipal Airstrip on Tuesday, October 27th. On Wednesday, one day after, James Stallings was informed that his missing plane had turned up in Belize, sans pilot.
Even two months after the plane’s brazen landing at the municipal airport, there are more questions than answers. It is illegal to land on Belizean soil without authorization from the Civil Aviation Department, but there is no pilot to be charged. As to the man claiming to own the aircraft, Lovell said: “the police are working with Civil Aviation and Customs, and they are looking to see if there will be any charges from those areas that will be laid.”
Lovell also claimed that a search of the plane revealed that no illicit cargo, at least of the narcotic variety, was brought in, so that complicates the matter of charges.
Stallings is petitioning Belizean authorities, through his attorney, to have the plane returned to him. Failing charges laid, or anyone to charge, it seems likely that the aircraft will be