Student pilot attempts to steal jet

U.S. & World

(WESH) – A student pilot at the Florida Institute of Technology is in custody after he allegedly hopped a fence at Orlando Melbourne International Airport and boarded an American Airlines jet that was parked in a maintenance area.

The 22-year-old student has been charged with criminal attempt to steal an airplane, a visa violation and criminal trespassing.

His name hasn’t been released.

The student drove to the curb outside the airport around 2 a.m. Thursday, left his car running, hopped a fence and boarded the plane, airport spokeswoman Lori Booker said.

A maintenance worker spotted him and police took him into custody a couple of minutes later.

Booker said officials conducted a sweep of the airfield before re-opening the airport.

In addition, all employees and passengers were removed from the terminal during the incident.

It caused two flight delays and interrupted airport operations for about five hours.

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