INCIDENT | A Man Stole An Aircraft And threatened To Crash it into Walmart


Cory Patterson worked at Tupelo Aviation at the Tupelo Regional Airport for ten years.

A rogue student pilot who stole an aircraft and threatened to crash it into a Mississippi Walmart Saturday has been arrested.

The suspect will be charged by police with grand larceny and making terroristic threats. The federal government may proceed with further charges, police said.

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Cory Patterson, 29, stole a fully fueled Beechcraft King Air C90 twin-engine aircraft from Tupelo Airport at around 5am, called 911 and threatened to crash into a Walmart store.

In a Facebook message at 9:32 a.m. that now has been deleted, Patterson wrote an apology to his family, saying, “Sorry everyone. Never actually wanted to hurt anyone. I love my parents and sister this isn’t your fault. Goodbye.”

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In a press conference, Tupelo Police Chief John Quaka said that Patterson, “has some flight instruction, but we do not believe he is a licensed pilot.”

Negotiators made contact with the pilot and convinced him to land at the airport. Quaka revealed that a private pilot spoke with Patterson since he did not know how to land the plane.

Patterson tried to land but aborted the landing about 100 feet from the ground and traveled northwest.

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A few hours later, the plane landed in a field in Benton County, 40 miles northwest of Tupelo. He was taken into custody.

Patterson worked as a lineman for Tupelo Aviation at the Tupelo Regional Airport for ten years and had access to the plane, Quaka said.

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