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F-16s Pursue Cessna Stolen by Flight Student - Plane Could Be Shot Down If Deemed a Threat
ABC News ^

Posted on 04/06/2009 7:17:48 PM PDT by MindBender26

Over the skies of the Midwest, two F-16 fighter jets are escorting a private Cessna 172 aircraft stolen from a flight school in Ontario, Canada, whose pilot has been unresponsive to multiple requests that he establish communications with ground controllers.

The plane entered American airspace over Michigan's Upper Peninsula at 3:25 p.m. today and has been trailed by the military aircraft since 4:43 p.m. as it has flown over Minnesota, south through Wisconsin, Illinois and Missouri. The aircraft went past St. Louis flew south over eastern Missouri towards Arkansas. At one point, the Wisconsin state capitol building in Madison was evacuated as a precaution as the plane flew over the city.

In a statement released later today, the college said it was working with local police "to recover the airplane and identify the individual flying the airplane."

Details are scarce as to the identity of the pilot, but NORAD spokesman Michael Kucharek said the pilot is a student at the flight school and that his motives are unknown. The F-16 pilots have made visual contact with the pilot and "know that the person that's flying the aircraft knows that the [F-16] aircraft are there, [he] is unresponsive to their non-verbal directions and is not in contact with the FAA controllers," Kucharek said.

FAA officials also said the Cessna's pilot has not responded to their repeated efforts to hail him on all radio frequencies.

When asked if the fighter jets might have to shoot down the aircraft if it shows hostile intent, Kucharek told ABC News that could happen. "NORAD pilots, once authorized by higher authority, are authorized to use everything within their power to protect U.S. citizens, up to and including lethal force," he said.

(Excerpt) Read more at abcnews.go.com ...


TOPICS: Canada; Crime/Corruption; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; US: Illinois; US: Iowa; US: Michigan; US: Missouri; US: Wisconsin
KEYWORDS: aviation; cessna; hijack; norad; theft; yavuz
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A/C now landed on US Highway 60 (Interstate?) in Missouri. More when known
1 posted on 04/06/2009 7:17:48 PM PDT by MindBender26
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To: MindBender26

The single engine Cessna 172 landed on U.S. Highway 60 in Missouri around 9 p.m. CT, and according to sources the pilot ran from the plane.

There were no reports of injuries on the ground.


2 posted on 04/06/2009 7:20:39 PM PDT by MindBender26 (The Hellfire Missile is one of the wonderful ways God shows us he loves American Soldiers & Marines)
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To: MindBender26

I’m keeping my assessment of his religion to myself.


3 posted on 04/06/2009 7:20:43 PM PDT by txhurl (ralph...history books will read: Lincoln freed the slaves & Obama enslaved the free.)
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To: MindBender26

Thanks for the update.

At least it wasn’t flown into a building.


4 posted on 04/06/2009 7:21:40 PM PDT by Palladin (Obama: "I don't want them punished with a baby.")
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To: MindBender26

The pilot ran away on foot? You mean they had no police or anyone waiting for him to land?


5 posted on 04/06/2009 7:23:55 PM PDT by Wisconsinlady
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To: MindBender26

Yep, it landed, here’s the latest http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=7273710&page=1


6 posted on 04/06/2009 7:24:11 PM PDT by hugorand
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To: MindBender26

This guy’s a great pilot-—he squeezed 5.5 hours of flying time out of one hour of fuel.


7 posted on 04/06/2009 7:24:15 PM PDT by Rudder (The Main Stream Media is Our Enemy---get used to it.)
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To: MindBender26

Couldn’t they still pursue him on foot using the F-16’s?

I love watching those videos when they blast away at terrorists running away from a vehicle in Iraq...


8 posted on 04/06/2009 7:24:19 PM PDT by Beaten Valve
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To: Palladin
At least it wasn’t flown into a building.

How much damage could a Cessna 172 do?

9 posted on 04/06/2009 7:25:03 PM PDT by LeGrande (I once heard a smart man say that you can’t reason someone out of something that they didn’t reaso)
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To: MindBender26

Hello, does anyone remember 9/11? OK, I realize Obama doesn’t, but what exactly do you have to do with a stolen plane to get anyone to take it seriously? I mean, they are evacuating government office buildings, so they have to suspect it’s a threat. What about just blowing the effing thing out of the air? #1 removes the threat #2 will serve as a deterrent to other knuckleheads whose intent may be to get on the 11 o’clock news.


10 posted on 04/06/2009 7:25:05 PM PDT by Sir Clancelot
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To: Palladin

building I never understood that word. Does that mean its still under construction? Why don’t they call them Built’s?


11 posted on 04/06/2009 7:25:37 PM PDT by al baby (Hi Mom)
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To: MindBender26
Frm.Microsoft Flight Simulator X Pilot, wanted to fly "the real thing"?
12 posted on 04/06/2009 7:26:21 PM PDT by skinkinthegrass (just b/c you're paranoid, doesn't mean "they" aren't out to get you.. :^)
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To: MindBender26
According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the plane was flying for a while at 14,500 feet. Over 10,000 feet the air is quite thin and commercial planes would be pressurized, but the Cessna 172 is not. As a result, the pilot could be suffering from hypoxia, or lack of oxygen, which can lead to confusion.

The plane later dropped its altitude to 3,700 feet, where there is more oxygen.

Another government official said the plane did not seem to be showing any hostile intent.

"It had opportunities to go into heavily populated areas, and it has not done so," the official said. "It appears to be veering around. Not going to urban air space."

13 posted on 04/06/2009 7:26:40 PM PDT by earlJam
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To: Beaten Valve
"Couldn’t they still pursue him on foot using the F-16’s?"

He was laughing his head off as he ran away, so htey decided to use B-52s for an arc light.

14 posted on 04/06/2009 7:27:54 PM PDT by spunkets
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To: MindBender26
I guess I'd like to know why the plan wasn't shot down. We all learn the "follow-me" signal that interceptors give. (I'd also like to know how F-16s manage to fly slowly enough to stay alongside a 172.

ML/NJ

15 posted on 04/06/2009 7:28:51 PM PDT by ml/nj
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To: MindBender26

Laura Brown of the Federal Aviation Administration said the Cessna 172 landed on a dirt road at Ellsinore, Mo., near Poplar Grove and the pilot ran away.


16 posted on 04/06/2009 7:29:18 PM PDT by Beaten Valve
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To: Beaten Valve
Couldn’t they still pursue him on foot using the F-16’s?

F-16 isn't ~exactly~ the best tool for that, a helicopter would be better ;~)

17 posted on 04/06/2009 7:30:37 PM PDT by HairOfTheDog
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To: Rudder
He flies for 5 1/2 hours, lands decently, and has the energy and oxygen to run?


18 posted on 04/06/2009 7:31:32 PM PDT by txhurl (ralph...history books will read: Lincoln freed the slaves & Obama enslaved the free.)
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To: earlJam

Whatever. He stole a plane, eventually was able to land it, and then ran from authorities. He was up to no good and now every one knows we’re not just going to shoot them down next time.


19 posted on 04/06/2009 7:31:46 PM PDT by jennyjenny
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To: Wisconsinlady
The pilot ran away on foot? You mean they had no police or anyone waiting for him to land?

A little hard for police to know where a plane is going to land far enough in advance to stage cars there.

20 posted on 04/06/2009 7:33:28 PM PDT by HairOfTheDog
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