Teen Steals King Air 200 For Short Joy Ride

Image by KSEE

An unusual occurrence happened December 18 at the Fresno Yosemite International Airport (FAT) when a 17 year old female breached a fence, entered a King Air 200 and managed to start one engine. The aircraft moved a short distance, pivoted, and crashed into a building and fence on airport property.

“The aircraft never became airborne and there was no fire,” said Airport Public Safety Chief Drew Bessinger, “The aircraft did sustain some substantial damage, however.”

No one was injured nor were any passengers or commercial airlines at risk during the incident. According to a statement from FAT, Fresno police officers arrived first and contacted the teen who was seated in the pilot’s seat, wearing a pilot headset. She was disoriented and uncooperative as she was taken into custody for theft of an aircraft and booked into juvenile hall.

The 1979 Beechcraft King Air 200 appeared to have suffered most of the damage to its left engine from the crash. No motive has been determined yet for the theft.

Fresno Airport’s webpage and information guide can be found here.

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