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Jet stolen from Fla. winds up in Ga.


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Jet stolen from Fla. winds up in Ga.

Old 10-11-2005, 09:08 AM
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Default Jet stolen from Fla. winds up in Ga.

Jet Stolen From Fla. Winds Up Near Atlanta

Tuesday October 11, 2005 5:16 PM


LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. (AP) - A 10-passenger charter jet that was reported stolen from St. Augustine, Fla., was found at an airport near Atlanta, and authorities were attempting to figure out who had flown it there.

The plane, a $7 million Cessna Citation 7, was found at the Gwinnett County Airport-Briscoe Field on Monday and remained there Tuesday morning, said Darren Moloney, spokesman for the Gwinnett County Police Department. The plane is owned by Pinnacle Air of Springdale, Ark., which had no comment on the incident Tuesday.

Crime scene technicians have investigated the interior of the plane, and Moloney said there is no evidence that there were weapons or drugs on it.

``We've ruled out anything diabolical or sinister,'' he said. ``We didn't find anything threatening on the plane.''

The FBI is also investigating although the theft does not appear to be linked to terrorism, said Lisa Ray, spokeswoman at the Georgia Office of Homeland Security.

The plane landed at the airport sometime between 9 p.m. Saturday and 6 a.m. Sunday, Moloney said. It had some damage to the front edge of one wing but was not disabled, authorities said.

Although the plane landed when the airport's flight tower was not operating, officials said that is not unusual. Once on the ground, an automatic gate would have let the person out of the airport, Moloney said.

The Federal Aviation Administration is probing its own traffic system to see if there is any record of the plane flying during the time in question, FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said.

Moloney said there were not yet any suspects and it was not known whether more than one person was involved in the theft. But officials said the person who took the plane is likely an experienced pilot.

Planes are easy to steal if you know how to fly them, because they usually do not require a key to start the engines, Gwinnett County Police Sgt. D. Mattox told the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Ray had no comment on whether this latest incident raised larger questions of security at the airport, which is the fifth-busiest in Georgia. Two of the Sept. 11 hijackers, Mohamed Atta and Marwan al-Shehhi, trained there for a time.
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Old 10-15-2005, 10:34 PM
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According to AOPA's website this was the doings of a 22 year old who wanted to take his buddies for a joyride. This isn't the first time he's taken a plane. Apparenly he stole a piston single from a school he was training at too.

While it's true that planes don't need keys to start but most like this have locks on the doors.

Here's fuel for the idiots that say GA is a threat.
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Old 10-16-2005, 05:55 AM
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An article that I saw mentioned that the crew had left the aircraft unattended with the door unlocked. Doh.
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