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Plane with swastika spotted at Torrey Pines gliderport

Posted at 5:16 PM, Sep 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-02 22:24:56-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Shanna Ben-Moshe says the Torrey Pines Glider Port is one of her favorite places in San Diego.

But on a visit last month, she saw something that ruined the trip.

“I didn’t really know what to do because I was so shocked to see that in a place that I go to all the time," Ben-Moshe said.

She's talking about a remote control plane - with a Nazi swastika painted on the rudder.

“My great-grandma is a holocaust survivor,” Ben-Moshe said. “She was in Auschwitz for a long time. She lost all her family.”

Ben-Moshe took a picture of the plane just before she left. She shared it with Brian Blacher, who co-runs a nonprofit group called Shield of David, which fights anti-Semitism.

Blacher went back to the gliderport to investigate. The plane wasn't there, but a different pilot explained that it's common for people to fly German replica warplanes.

“It's hurtful," Blacher said. "We've got a big Jewish community, we've got holocaust survivors living here. He's like, 'it's a plane, what are you so upset about', kind of deal."

It's unclear who flew the remote control plane, and there wasn't anyone flying those kinds of planes when ABC 10News went to the gliderport on Wednesday.

Robin Marien, the flight director at the gliderport, declined to comment on the swastika plane. He noted, however, that radio control pilots do tend to fly planes with vintage design.

Ben-Moshe, now back in college in Wisconsin, says this won't stop her from going back to the gliderport.

“It's a place that I love," she said, "and I don’t want anything to take away from that."