DULUTH, MN (WDIO) - Two fighter pilots who attempted to intercept a stolen plane last night say they tried several times to communicate with the pilot, but to no avail.
Captains T.J. Rendulich and Alek Lied of the 148th Fighter Wing were called to monitor the stolen plane as it flew over Wisconsin.
Yesterday afternoon, a student pilot stole a Cessna-172 airplane from a flight school at the Thunder Bay Airport and headed south. The fighter pilots say they tried to get the student to land, but he didn't respond.
Captain Alek Lied says, "If you want to tell someone to land you go up to the aircraft you put your gear down signaling hey we want you to to land at a nearby airport. We can rock our wings and if the aircraft acknowledges our presence they can give us wing rock back. We never did get that."
Lied says at one point the student pilot waved at him.
Tuesday afternoon, Adam Dylan Leon, 31, was charged with transportation of stolen property and illegal entry in federal court in St. Louis. Prosecutors say Leon was making a suicide attempt, saying he was expecting to be shot down by the pilots.
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