Teen girl sneaks into small plane, drives it into fence

FRESNO, CALIFORNIA (AP) — A 17-year-old girl was arrested on Wednesday after authorities said she sneaked into a small plane at a central California airport and drove it into a chain-link fence. The teenager climbed a fence topped with barbed wire at the Fresno Yosemite International Airport, started up the plane and crashed it into a fence, airport Police Chief Drew Bessinger said.

Bessinger said she breached the fence about a quarter-mile from the commercial terminals and the military area. No passenger planes were in danger, and no one was injured in the crash, he said.

A grainy surveillance video released by airport officials showed the plane drive in a circle before crashing. Airport and Fresno police officers responding to a 911 call found the teen in the pilot’s seat, wearing a headset, Bessinger said. She “appeared to be disoriented and was uncooperative with police when she was taken into custody,” he said.

Bessinger said police are investigating why she took the plane but that there is no indication of “a terrorism-related motive”.

The teenager was arrested on suspicion of theft of an aircraft and booked into juvenile hall.

A small plane sits parked after it was crashed into a fence by a 17-year-old girl on Wednesday at the Fresno Yosemite International Airport. PHOTO: AP