While the loons have had our attention focused on the southern border using their fear tactics of imminent invasion by hordes of cartel members, Hazbollah, Al-queda and anything else they can think of to stoke our fears, a stolen Cessna 172 crossed into US airspace from Canada, and made it all the way to Missouri escorted by a pair of F-16 Interceptors.
In Missouri, it landed on a highway in Elsinore Missouri and the pilot fled on foot only to be apprehended by Missouri Highway Patrol officers.
Mike Kucharek, spokesman for the North American Aerospace Defense Command in Colorado (NORAD), said that by 7:15 p.m. ET, the Cessna 172 had travelled south over Illinois and was approaching the St. Louis area with the pilot refusing to communicate with any authorities.
We don’t know what the motive is,” Kucharek said. “I wouldn’t want to speculate on that. We are treating this with the most utmost seriousness.”
The plane was taken at about 2:30 p.m. from the Aviation Centre of Excellence at Thunder Bay’s Confederation College. The pilot had been flying erratically. Fighter pilots who intercepted the plane at the Michigan-Wisconsin border, Kucharek said.
The pilot was identified as Yavuz Berke, formerly known as Adam Leon, a 31-year-old naturalized Canadian citizen who was born in Turkey, Kolko said.
The plane entered American airspace over Michigan’s Upper Peninsula at 4:23 p.m. ET today and was trailed by the military aircraft since 4:43 p.m. as it flew over Minnesota, south through Wisconsin, Illinois and Missouri.
At one point, the Wisconsin state capitol building in Madison was evacuated as a precaution as the plane flew over the city.
NORAD spokesman Michael Kucharek said the F-16 pilots had made visual contact with the pilot and knew that the person flying the Cessna was aware that the F-16s were there. He was “unresponsive to their non-verbal directions and … not in contact with the FAA controllers,” Kucharek said.
FAA officials also said the Cessna’s pilot did not respond to repeated efforts to hail him on all radio frequencies.
It was thought the fighter jets might have to shoot down the aircraft if it showed hostile intent, Kucharek told ABC News.
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