Two teenage boys – one 14 and the other 15 years of age – neither of whom were pilots, were arrested in Utah on Thursday, after stealing a light-sport airplane for a joyride. According to a release from the Uintah County Sheriff’s Office, the boys had left a group home on the Wasatch Front earlier in the week, and travelled to eastern Utah, where they stayed with friends in the Jensen area. On Thanksgiving morning, they stole a tractor and drove it to an airstrip in Jensen where they commandeered the light sport airplane.
Witnesses spotted the plane flying very low along US-40, about 32 miles west of Jensen. Investigators said that the teens discussed flying back towards the Wasatch Front, but decided against it, and landed at an airport in Vernal. The boys were arrested at the airport, and are now being held at the Split Mountain Youth Detention Center, Deseret News reported.
In another stolen aircraft incident earlier this year, an airline employee took an empty Bombardier Q400 turboprop for another joyride. That incident resulted in the death of the employee, who took the aircraft on an hour-long flight and performed aerobatics before crashing the airliner on Kentron Island in Puget Sound, Washington.