Cargo Plane Case Returning to Court

The case of the Soviet Union–era cargo plane at Sawyer Airport is going back to court next week.

You may recall that the plane landed at Sawyer last July.

The story goes like this…a Florida company owns the plane.

It sat in Texas for three years, racking up storage, fuel and repair fees.

When it left Texas last July on what was supposed to be an international journey, it did not have the proper permission to leave the country.

It stopped at Sawyer to get the paperwork in order.

In the meantime, the Texas company called the police, saying they were owed some $60,000 for their services.

Several agencies were involved in an investigation, including local police, the FBI, the FAA, the TSA as well as Immigration and Customs.

Five of the nine men on board the plane, including the pilot, were arrested on immigation violations.

They were deported back to Ukraine, their home country.

A judge ordered the plane to be held at Sawyer while everything was sorted out.

The plane was eventually released to the Texas company, but it continued to sit.

It was recently sold for $60,000.

The original owner of the plane says it’s worth $3 million to $4 million, and he’s filed a lawsuit.

He doesn’t have the plane or any money from it.

That case will be heard July 23rd, a week from this Friday, in Marquette County Circuit Court.

An added issue now — jet fuel is leaking from the plane, and an environmental mess is the current concern.

The plane has been a big attention-getter.

In fact, it’s featured in today’s issue of The Wall Street Journal.