Skip to comments.F-16s Pursue Cessna Stolen by Flight Student - Plane Could Be Shot Down If Deemed a Threat
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 ...
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.
I’m keeping my assessment of his religion to myself.
Thanks for the update.
At least it wasn’t flown into a building.
The pilot ran away on foot? You mean they had no police or anyone waiting for him to land?
Yep, it landed, here’s the latest http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=7273710&page=1
This guy’s a great pilot-—he squeezed 5.5 hours of flying time out of one hour of fuel.
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...
How much damage could a Cessna 172 do?
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.
building I never understood that word. Does that mean its still under construction? Why don’t they call them Built’s?
He was laughing his head off as he ran away, so htey decided to use B-52s for an arc light.
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.
F-16 isn't ~exactly~ the best tool for that, a helicopter would be better ;~)
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.
A little hard for police to know where a plane is going to land far enough in advance to stage cars there.
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