After hopping a fence of Fresno airport, California, a teenager stole a plane and crashed it into a wall. The authorities have ruled out the hypothesis of a domestic terrorism attempt.
On the morning of December 18, 2019, a 17-year-old girl trespassed the perimeter of Fresno Yosemite International Airport (FAT). She entered the cabin of one of the planes parked on the apron and managed to start one of the engines.
The 40-year-old Beechcraft 200 King Air started to move in a circle before it impacted a fence and ended its course in the corner of a building. The aircraft registered N72MM and owned by WL Aviation sustained substantial damage to its left PT6 turboprop engine, left wing, and main landing gear.
Airport security and Fresno police officers were called to intervene on the plane theft. The teenager was found in the captain’s seat, with pilot headphones on. She resisted the arrest and had to be subdued by the officers. “The female appeared to be disoriented and was uncooperative when she was taken into custody for theft of an aircraft,” said Fresno Yosemite International Airport in a statement.
Her mother reported to local media that the girl was a runaway, and “doesn’t even know how to drive a car.”
According to Fresno Yosemite International Airport, no passengers or commercial flights were put at risk, and the incident did not have any impact on operations. The airport conjointly with the Federal Aviation Administration opened an investigation.
Parked aircraft occasionally attract the attention of unexpected “pilots”. In August 2018, a Horizon Air ground service agent stole the company’s Bombardier Q400 from Seattle–Tacoma International Airport (SEA), United States. The 76-passenger regional twin engine turboprop was empty at the time with no passengers or other crew onboard. During his 75 minutes flight under the escort of two F-15 fighter jets, the man made several acrobatic maneuvers, before he eventually crashed in a forested area of Ketron Island.