Apparently a student pilot stole a Cessna 172 from a flight school in Canada and has flown the aircraft across the US border, over Wisconsin and on its way to Illinois. At the time of this writing the Cessna 172 is still in the air, and the State Capitol of Wisconsin has been evacuated. It is unclear what the intentions of this pilot are.
Two F-16s intercepted the aircraft with the intention of forcing it to land at the Central Wisconsin Airport at Mosinee, WI. However, the aircraft did not land and continued its Westward journey. Around 9pm Central Standard time the aircraft landed on highway 60 in Missouri. The pilot fled the aircraft after landing.
During the flight the pilot climbed to 14,500 where he could have suffered hypoxia, but later descended to 3,700 feet. The student pilot was aware that the F-16s were watching him, but they would not shoot the aircraft down unless it exhibited hostile intent.
Of course sending a pair of F-16s on a mission is not cheap. It is estimated that the cost for this pursuit will be around $ 500,000. I am sure they would like this student pilot to pay for this, if they catch him.
The moral of the story is this: don't steal airplanes, don't cross borders, don't aggravate F-16s and be very, very careful.
Stay tuned - this should be a great story!
Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch!
To invent a plane is nothing.
To build one is something.
To fly is everything.
-- Otto Lilienthal