Man who threatened to crash stolen plane into Walmart didn’t have a pilot’s license, Mississippi officials say

Authorities say a aircraft that was flying over northern Mississippi and whose pilot threatened to crash right into a Walmart retailer landed safely on Saturday.

Governor Tate Reeves announced on Twitter that “the scenario has been resolved and nobody has been injured”. He thanked regulation enforcement who helped carry the aircraft down.

The pilot, recognized as Cory Wayne Patterson, 29, was in police custody and charged with theft and threatening terrorism, Tupelo Police Chief John Quaka mentioned at a press convention Saturday after -midday.

Patterson, a Tupelo airport worker, reportedly flew the Beechcraft King Air C90A simply after 5 a.m. when the air site visitors management tower was unmanned. He doesn’t have a pilot’s license or expertise touchdown planes, however has had flight coaching, Quaka mentioned. His job on the airport is to refuel planes.

A Walmart on the town was evacuated simply after 5:20 a.m. after Patterson known as 911 and reported he was going to fly the aircraft into the shop, Quaka mentioned. Main streets in Tupelo had been additionally closed.

Negotiators then contacted Patterson and had been in a position to persuade him to not fly the aircraft into the Walmart, in line with Quaka.

The Beechcraft remained within the air for greater than 5 hours, circling over Tupelo and one other close by group. An internet flight monitoring service confirmed the aircraft snaking by way of the sky for a number of hours and following a looping path.

Legislation enforcement advised the Northeast Mississippi Day by day Journal shortly after 8 a.m. the aircraft left the airspace round Tupelo and was flying close to a Toyota manufacturing plant in close by Blue Springs.

Simply after 9:30 a.m. native time, Patterson posted on Fb from the aircraft. On the finish of the submit, he wrote “goodbye,” Quaka mentioned. The aircraft was operating out of gas. However, with some directions from a personal pilot, Patterson was in a position to land the aircraft about half-hour later.

The aircraft sustained minimal harm through the touchdown, Quaka mentioned. The Federal Aviation Administration mentioned the aircraft touched down in a subject a number of miles northwest of Ripley Airport in Ripley, Mississippi.

Nobody was injured through the accident.

CBS affiliate WCBI-TV launched video of the aircraft flying over the realm.

We observe a creating story. A pilot threatens to crash his aircraft into the West Important Wal Mart in Tupelo…

Printed by WCBI Information on Saturday, September 3, 2022

Leslie Criss, {a magazine} editor who lives in Tupelo, awoke early and watched the scenario on TV and social media. A number of of his associates had been outdoors watching the aircraft circle overhead.

“I’ve by no means seen something prefer it on this city,” Criss advised The Related Press. “It is a scary strategy to get up on a Saturday morning.”

Former state consultant Steve Holland, a funeral director in Tupelo, mentioned he obtained calls from households involved in regards to the aircraft.

“One in every of them known as and mentioned, ‘Oh my God, do we have now to cancel my mother’s funeral?'” Holland mentioned. “I simply advised them, ‘No, life will go on. “”

Patterson can even possible face federal expenses, Quaka mentioned.

A number of federal businesses, together with the Division of Homeland Safety and the FAA, participated within the investigation. They’re nonetheless working to discern a sample.

The aircraft drama unfolded as tens of 1000’s of faculty soccer followers headed north from Mississippi for Saturday soccer video games on the College of Mississippi in Oxford and Mississippi State College in Starkville. Tupelo is between these two cities.

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