EXCLUSIVE: FBI Linked to Fatal Mid-Air Collision


Until a lot more details are made public, the lack of information is fueling rampant rumors that the FBI might have had a hand in the fatal mid-air collision which tragically claimed the life of a student pilot in Chandler, Arizona on Friday. From the things that are known, all pieces seem to fit a troubling pattern involving bureau partnerships with flight schools to fly spy missions. After all, the planes are up there wasting gas anyway, why not equip them with cameras, dirtboxes and all other sorts of spooky spy gear?

FBI exposed by accident

On Friday, October 1, The Chandler Police Department confirmed student helicopter pilot Michael Papendick was killed in a mid-air collision with a fixed wing aircraft, also piloted by a student. The incident happened near the Chandler Municipal Airport early Friday morning. They don’t say they were working for the FBI but they might have been. Eyewitness to the crash, Tyler Detwiler, a student pilot at the airport, relates that the helicopter “went down really fast. They did collide in the air. The plane I know for sure was on final to land, so it was just about to be landing.”

Matthew Trent saw it too. He was driving when it happened. “It looked like the landing gear caught one of the rotors, broke the rotor off, chopped the fuselage in half, took its tail off and then the helicopter went straight down.” The plane was “able to land safely.” There were two people on each aircraft. Both occupants of the helicopter were declared dead at the scene. Mr. Papendick is survived by wife Becca and 11-month-old daughter Aubrey. So far, no other names have been released but the plane’s “flight instructor and a student inside were not hurt.”

It has been confirmed by the Chandler Police Department that “the helicopter was operated by Quantum Helicopters and the plane was operated by Flight Operations Academy.” Both are described as “flight schools.” That’s interesting for a spooky reason. The Phoenix branch of the Federal Bureau of Instigation has allegedly been in bed with Deer Valley Airport’s flight schools for years.

The bureau’s “aviation program is not secret” was the quote by FBI Phoenix field office spokesman Christopher Allen, when the scandal broke. The privacy violations went public after the surveillance of the Freddie Gray Baltimore riots led researchers to point out how wide spread the practice has become. It’s become embarrassingly obvious.


KTAR notes the aircraft “went down near McQueen and Queen Creek roads shortly after 7:30 a.m.” The FAA press release verifies “the helicopter hit the ground while the single-engine plane landed safely despite damage to its landing gear.”

The FAA lists the plane as a Piper PA-28 and the helicopter as a Robinson R22. The tower at the airport was fully operational at the time and they aren’t saying much due to the ongoing investigation. The number on the plane seems to have been “misleadingly” painted to match up with an old glider to the casual observer. That seems to be intentional coverup which would support a theory of FBI involvement.

Barely legal numbers

Traffic was disrupted by the close of the Loop 202 Santan Freeway so the National Transportation Safety Board can perform an investigation. They seem to already have some unusual questions in mind. Ones pertaining to the number painted across the side of the plane to start with. It looks like it was carefully painted for a 6 to look like an 8 but still be legal, like an 18 year old on her birthday. “The FAA will release the tail numbers after investigators verify them,” they noted in the official statement. FBI involvement could be the reason behind not releasing the names of the plane occupants too.

From what we know of the only victim identified to date, 34-year-old Michael Papendick would have made an excellent FBI spy pilot. As reported by New York Post, he “served seven years in the Navy before recently moving to Phoenix to pursue a career as a pilot.” That suggests he had been recruited. “He wanted to fly for the police or EMS and then do some tours in Hawaii and all that fun stuff. He had the adrenaline of being in the sky,” explains his wife, Becca Papendick. The bureau is considered “police.”

Richard Bengoa, owner of Flight Operations Academy, told The Associated Press “the four-seat plane is used mostly for flight training.” Mostly. As in, they use it for other things too, but aren’t saying what. Like surveillance missions maybe?.


He describes his operation as “more of a family business to kind of promote aviation and help people get their licenses.” How quaint and cozy. At least we’re being spied on by folks with family values. FlightAware tracks the history of aircraft and the last few flights of the plane involved in the crash indicate that, when not doing touch and go landing practice, the student pilots like to fly in circles over a popular stretch of the I-10 freeway. One of the long suspected FBI front companies is AeroGuard Flight Training Center operating out of Deer Valley Airport in Phoenix Arizona. The Federal Bureau of Instigation headquarters is conveniently located right beside the runway. AeroGuard trains so many Chinese nationals as student pilots that they have their very own Senior Director of Training for Chinese, Jay Meade. It will be really interesting to see what the name of the plane pilot involved in Chandler’s mid-air collision is. And whether language barriers played a role in tower communication issues contributing to the crash.

In 2020, the controversy of spy planes came up again when the National Guard was accused of flying a spy plane over Phoenix protests. Investigative reporter Jerod Macdonald-Evoy uncovered that “the plane that was flying over the protests was an RC-26. It’s owned by the National Guard and it’s a plane that, it’s been used before, mostly for, out here in Arizona, it’s been used flying around the border for counterdrug missions. It’s been approved to fly domestically, doing surveillance missions mostly for counterdrug operations and support of law, local law enforcement.” (Including the FBI.)

“It’s also been flown overseas in wartime in Afghanistan and Iraq and has cameras on it. They can see for miles away. They have infrared and that type of technology on it as well as, it can also do what’s called signals intelligence. So it can collect intelligence within the electromagnetic spectrum, so to speak. So it can pick up things like electronic communication. But we’ve been told that it didn’t have any of that equipment onboard during any of these flights, but that’s the type of surveillance and equipment it has the capabilities to do.” The flight schools are allegedly a whole fleet of the same kind of equipment.


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