Stolen Canadian aircraft in US

What would have happened if he had crossed back across the border? Would the US Airforce have followed him into Canadian airspace? Police in Canada presumably would have wanted to arrest him for stealing the plane but Canada may not have bothered sending out their airforce.

NORAD is a joint US-Canadian command, and can probably (I’m guessing) pursue a stolen aircraft across the border.

Why not? Canada has the same concerns about international terrorism, plus has very close relations and cooperation with the US on security, such as NORAD.

I must be painful for an F16 to follow a C172 for hours, considering their speed difference. Wouldn’t a fast helicopter be more suited to the job?

I picture it circling and circling the slower plane.

Helicopters don’t have the range for sustained pursuit. Most won’t go 1,000 miles without stopping for fuel.

He now says that he wanted to be shot down. He is a college student in the aviation program here in Thunder Bay who has been having emotional difficulties recently.

I wonder if he will get extra credit for having more flight hours?

This fool is damn lucky he wasn’t shot down. I am quite sure that , had he mad any suspicious moves (like flying toward acity), the F-16 pilot would have pushed a button, and this guy would have been vaporized

I dunno about that, Ralph. How much damage can one realistically cause in a Cessna 172?

I remember a few years ago, some joker deliberately crashed one into an office building and broke a few windows. Seems like it would be a lot more dangerous to blow it up.

I certainly wouldn’t be complacent. It depends on where it crashes… and what it’s carrying:

If you’re talking about this crash, there’s no evidence that the plane was crashed on purpose… and it was a residential building, not office building.

He is more likely referencing the crash is Tampa FL when a 15-year-old committed suicide by crashing into an office building.

That was the one.

There was also the time when a guy crashed into the White House during Clinton’s term. Was that also a 172? It barely dented the wall.

cited by Elendil’s Heir in post #10.

Canada has its own airforce and presumably they would have taken over pursuit if he had recrossed the border. Canadian pilots are just as capable as American pilots, and its inconceivable that they would be incapable of dealing with the situation. Canada does not need US help to deal with a runaway Cessna within its airspace.

As noted, most helicopters do not have the long-range capability to follow a fully fueled Cessna for that length of time. Although difficult, the guys who fly F16’s are arguably some of our best pilots and hey, they’re paid to do things like this.

LOL :smiley:

I doubt very much the airforce is trigger happy. Shooting an airplane down leaves the problem of where the wreckage will fall. It’s a last resort, because it carries an inherent hazard to whoever may be on the ground beneath.

However, an F-16 wouldn’t need to shoot a Cessna 172 to cause it to crash - the wake from an F-16 flying at high speed passing in close proximity to small airplane can be enough to not only cause the pilot to lose control, but also sufficient to literally tear the smaller airplane apart. There are accidents on record of this sort of thing happening unintentionally (usually when one of the two planes strays into airspace it should have stayed out of).

Well, you can certainly destroy the Cessna…

Realistically, based on the accident record, a fully-fueled Cessna crashing into a typical building is going to cause some structural damage and maybe a fire (though not always a fire). Anyone at the precise point of impact stands a good chance of being killed, as does anyone aboard the airplane. That’s the worst case scenario. Based on the accident record, smashing into a skyscraper isn’t going to cause a 9/11 style building collapse/fire/mass carnage event.

(Note this does not include doing something like carrying a bomb on a Cessna, or some such other weapon-aided event, about which I’d prefer not to speculate too much on in public, other than to say the payload on a Cessna 172 is limited due to physics as well as regulation so even then the damage is limited compared to larger, faster airplanes.)

It was a Cessna 150, which is smaller and lighter than a Cessna 172

I just turned on the TV, only to see a commercial from the fellow’s flight school from which he stole the plane: “There are exciting things happening at Confederation College.”

Who said there isn’t truth in advertising.


It was NORAD that controlled the situation (NORAD has been fully integrated between Canada and the USA for about fifty years), so NORAD would simply have passed off the task to Canadian planes (out of Winnipeg), just as it did when it passed off between planes from the Minnesota and Wisconsin Air National Guards, and was prepared to pass off to a Louisiana Air National Guard that it had also scrambled.

Hard to see why it’s difficult for an F-16 pilot to track a 172.

In any 783-mile trip, there’s going to be plenty of opportunities over pastures, woods and other minimally populated areas.

I seriously question the practicality of this, and whether F-16 pilots are trained for it. (And I’ll note that wake turbulence is greatest at low speed, and least at high speed.)

The M61 20mm cannon would do the job well, with minimal risk to anything but the 172.

Except that there was no reason to kill the fellow.

The pros made the right call.