June 17, 2011
Colton Harris-Moore, commonly known as the “Barefoot Bandit,” pleaded guilty June 17 to seven felony charges, including “two counts of interstate transportation of a stolen aircraft” and “piloting an aircraft without a valid airman’s certificate,” according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington.
Harris-Moore was captured July 11, 2010, after the Cessna 400 Corvalis TT he now admits to stealing in Indiana ran out of fuel in the Bahamas. It marked the end of a multi-year crime spree that stretched from Washington state to Canada to Indiana to the Bahamas and included theft of cars, boats, and aircraft.
The 20-year-old’s charges also include burglary, “interstate and foreign transportation of a stolen firearm, being a fugitive in possession of a firearm,” and “interstate transportation of a stolen vessel,” the release said. In a chronicling of Harris-Moore’s crimes, the U.S. Attorney’s office said that he stole an aircraft in September 2009 and then again in February and July 2010.
The plea agreement comes with a recommendation for 63 to 78 months in prison, but U.S. District Court Judge Richard A. Jones can sentence the Camano Island, Wash., native to the maximum allowed, the news release stated. Also in the plea deal, Harris-Moore agreed that the loss caused by his crimes totaled more than $1.4 million and that he would not receive any financial gain from telling his story. Any proceeds would go to the victims of his crimes. (Learn about some of the victims in this November 2010 AOPA Pilot feature.)
Harris-Moore is schedule to be sentenced Oct. 28.
Pilot Skip Gibbs regularly uses his Bonanza A36 to bring medical volunteers and supplies to remote areas of Mexico. Just before sunset, Gibbs was flying to the historic city of El Fuerte in the state of Sinaloa where LIGA International Flying Doctors of Mercy has been doing good works since 1934.
It could be the perfect two-week getaway: a free trip to France to participate in the Tour Aerien Des Jeunes Pilotes. One American pilot between the ages of 18 and 24 will have the opportunity to fly in an air race in France from July 15 through 28.
Chris Polhemus has flown over the beaches of Normandy on the anniversary of D-Day before, but in 2014 he hopes to return at the controls of a C-47, dropping paratroopers in the early-morning darkness.