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article imageF-16s chase stolen plane from Canada

By Chris V. Thangham     Apr 7, 2009 in Crime
Two U.S. fighter jets chased a stolen, single engine Canadian plane across several states for hours. The pilot was caught after he landed on a highway in Missouri.
The man stole the Cessna plane from Ontario, Canada and flew it across the border, through Michigan, Wisconsin and Illinois before landing on a highway in Missouri according to US military officials.
The F-16s started the chase after NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) responded to an airspace violation.
In a press release a Pentagon spokesman said:
"They intercepted the small Cessna at approximately 4:43 (pm) Eastern time" (2043 GMT), the Pentagon official said, adding that the pilot flew the aircraft "erratically" and failed to respond to efforts from the fighter jets to establish contact. The plane was coming from Thunder Bay, Ontario. It entered US airspace around 3:25 Eastern time and was unresponsive."
After the plane landed the pilot was captured. The pilot said he saw the fighters pursuing him but didn’t respond to their specific non-verbal commands to land the plane safely.
U.S. Customs Border Protection aircraft also intercepted the Cessna but let the F-16s follow the aircraft instead. The plane landed at Poplar Bluff, Missouri at 9:45 Eastern time.
The man is being held in custody with local authorities in Missouri.
The New York Times reports the man, Adam Dylan Leon, 31, flew the plane for more than six hours and the plane had enough fuel to fly for eight hours.
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