5.59 AM Thursday, 25 April 2024
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25 April 2024

Student pilot charged with trying to steal plane


Authorities say a 22-year-old student pilot has been charged with criminal attempt to steal an airplane at a central Florida airport.

Orlando-Melbourne International Airport spokeswoman Lori Booker tells news outlets that the man also has been charged with a visa violation and criminal trespassing. His name hasn’t been released.

The case unfolded Thursday morning in Melbourne, on Florida’s Atlantic coast.

Booker says the man boarded a vacant American Airlines Airbus A321, which can seat up to 200 passengers. Florida Today reports the plane was blocked in to prevent movement. Two technicians doing work inside the plane confronted him and tackled him. One called police while the other subdued him. He was arrested within minutes.

Booker says the case is being investigated by the Joint Terrorism Task Force. They’re trying to determine a motive.