Two teens stole a small plane in a metropolitan area of eastern Utah on Thursday, flying it in low altitude over a street and landing in a regional airport prior to being detained, officials said.
The teenagers, ages 14 and 15, took the single-engine, propeller aircraft by a private airstrip at the little town of Jensen in the northwestern corner of Utah, the Uintah County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
The theft of this airplane follows an episode in August when a airline employee stole a vacant Bombardier Q400 industrial turboprop in a Seattle airport and crashed the vacant airplane after flying around one hour, increasing concerns regarding the safety of aircraft.
In the most recent episode, which entailed a much smaller airplane, the teenagers flew at low altitude over Highway 40 and have been seen from the atmosphere over the region of Gusher, which is roughly 30 miles (50 kilometers ) west where they shot off, the Sheriff’s Office said.
The teens believed about continued to fly west into a more populated region of Utah, however they made a decision to turn around and land the airplane in the Vernal Regional Airport, about 15 miles (25 kilometers ) from where they shot off, the sheriff’s office stated. The office described the plane as a “light sport aircraft”
The teenagers were arrested close to the airport and put in a youth detention centre in the region.
The sheriff’s office announcement didn’t record charges against the teens and a representative to the workplace couldn’t immediately be contacted for comment.
The teenagers, whose names weren’t published, are out of the Wasatch Front, a region of Utah that contains the state funding Salt Lake City and other big towns, and they dwelt in a group residence there. It wasn’t immediately clear if they had some prior experience flying a plane.
The teens were staying with friends from Jensen prior to stealing the airplane, the sheriff’s office stated.