Pilot Accused of Stealing Cessna From Palo Alto Airport

Investigators are looking for a pilot who is accused of stealing a private plane from his employer in Northern California.

Palo Alto police say they are trying to figure out where 24-year-old William McAdams was heading – and why – when he took off in the middle of the night last week from the Palo Alto Airport, where he worked as a flight instructor.

Palo Alto Police Sgt. Brian Philips says McAdams stole a Cessna leased by his employer, Advantage Aviation, and departed from the Palo Alto Airport in the middle of the night on May 8.

Radar last picked up the plane offshore near the Mexican border. According to authorities, radar indicated McAdams was heading southwest.

“We’re looking at a lot of electronic information we’re able to get from his cell phones, radar, data, anything that could give us an idea of what the motive might be,” Philips said.

Investigators say they don’t believe McAdams poses a risk to public safety.

To track down McAdams and the plane, police are teaming up with the Federal Aviation Administration, Coast Guard and Mexican authorities.

The plane is owned by a company based in Texas but leased by Advantage Aviation. No one with the company had comment on Friday.

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