Teen girl tried to steal plane but crashed, officials say
A 17-year-old girl attempted to steal a small plane at a Fresno, California, airport Wednesday morning before crashing it into a building and a fence, officials said. No one was injured during the incident.
The incident began at approximately 7:30 a.m. local time when the unnamed teen breached the fence of the Fresno Yosemite International Airport, the airport said in a statement. She entered a King Air 200 propeller-driven aircraft and was able to start one engine.
The plane then began to move — but it quickly pivoted and crashed into a building and a fence before ever taking flight. The plane sustained what the airport described as “substantial damage.”
When officers discovered and arrested the female, who was still seated in the pilot’s seat wearing the pilot’s headset, she was “disoriented” and “uncooperative,” according to the statement, which added that she would be booked at juvenile hall.
The airport stressed in the statement that the incident occurred in the general aviation section of the airport, away from the commercial and military zones.
“No passengers or commercial airlines were ever at risk in this incident,” the airport said. “The motive is still under investigation but there is no indication of any ties to domestic terrorism.”
When asked at a press conference how the teen was able to breach the airport’s security, airport Police Chief Drew Bessinger replied, “It’s a fence. Most any fence can be climbed if you are motivated enough to go over barbed wire.”