A longtime airport employee is in police custody after stealing a plane early Saturday morning. The man, identified as Cory Wayne Patterson threatened by police to crash a plane into a Walmart in Mississippi. However, Cory eventually landed in a field – where the authorities arrested him.
According to Tupelo Sheriff John Quaka, Cory was an employee of Tupelo Aviation in 10 years ago. He worked as a lineman – responsible for refueling the planes.
But on Saturday, he chose to move beyond his normal work duties. During a press conference, the sheriff revealed that Cory had stolen the twin-engine plane at 5:08 a.m. local time. Cory then took off from Tupelo Regional Airport in a Beechcraft King Air C90. Based on CNN, The plane he stole is believed to have been refueled the night before, but it’s unclear if Cory was refueling.
Man threatens to crash into local Walmart at around 5:30 a.m.
Just before 5:30 a.m. local time, Cory called 911 in Lee County. While talking to authorities, he threatened to crash the plane into the West Main Walmart located in Tupelo. Police Chief Quaka said Walmart, surrounding stores and major streets were evacuated while the plane was still in flight.
Based on CBS, Cory has little flying experience, including some flight instruction. However, he did not have a pilot’s license or experience in landing plans.
Tupelo Police negotiators persuaded Cory to drop his plan to break into the chain. With the help of a licensed pilot, the police and Cory devised a plan for him to land the plane at Tupelo airport. But, Cory changed the deal at the last minute. Instead, he began traveling to the northwest.
The plane flew in the sky for more than five hours, every CBS. During that time, Cory posted a message on Facebook that basically said goodbye. Police said he was running low on fuel around 9:30 a.m. local time. About 30 minutes later, Cory landed the plane in a field a few miles from Ripley, Mississippi.
Cory Faces Fee for stolen aircraft — No injuries reported
Authorities detained Cory shortly after landing. He is facing charges of petty theft and making terroristic threats. The plane suffered minimal damage, although eyewitnesses reported it landed “hard.”
The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the incident. No one, including Cory, was injured in today’s events.
The plane over North MS crashed. Fortunately, the situation was resolved and no one was injured. My sincerest thanks go to local, state, and federal law enforcement, who have handled this situation with great professionalism.
– Governor Tate Reeves (@tatereeves) September 3, 2022