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Calif. flight instructor allegedly steals plane, disappears

PALO ALTO, Calif. - Authorities in the San Francisco Bay Area say a flight instructor stole a small airplane nearly two weeks ago and neither flyer nor flying machine have been seen since.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports Tuesday that Palo Alto Police Sgt. Brian Philip says 24-year-old William James McAdams went missing after he took off in a 2011 G1000 Skyhawk 1TG single-engine plane from the the city's municipal airport early on Friday, May 8.

McAdams, of Palo Alto, was tracked flying south off the coast in Central California about eight hours after he went missing.

McAdams owns Fly High Aviation School, which operates out of the airport, but the plane was leased to another flight school where he works. CBS San Francisco reported he took the plane from that flight school without permission.

Investigators have alerted all airports on the West Coast to be on the lookout for the plane.

"We've been looking for any sign of evidence of what may have happened to this plane," said Sgt. Philip. "I've been working with various local agencies, federal agencies, the military."

Philip said it's possible McAdams may have traveled as far south as Mexico.

"We have not found anything significant to suggest that he is in one particular location," Philip said. "This isn't an easy investigation because we don't have people in planes go missing all the time."

CBS San Francisco reports McAdams faces possible theft charges, but as of right now, authorities are just focusing on finding him.