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Flight Student Indicted for Stealing C-172, Flying into U.S.

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A Canadian man accused of stealing a single-engine plane from a college in Thunder Bay, Ont., in April and piloting it across three U.S. states was indicted by a federal grand jury in St. Louis in June. Adam Dylan Leon, 31, was charged with interstate transportation of a stolen aircraft; importation of a stolen aircraft, and illegal entry. He faces a maximum of 20 years and six months in prison. He allegedly told officials that the act was an attempt at suicide.
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The Cessna 172 flew across Lake Superior and over Michigan, Wisconsin and Illinois before landing in Missouri with about 30 minutes' worth of fuel left in the tank. The trip spanned 1,250 kilometres.

Two F-16 jets from the Minnesota National Guard tracked the plane as it crossed the U.S.-Canadian border, according to North American Aerospace Defence Command.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol said that after the plane landed, Leon got a ride from a passer-by to a store, where he bought a Gatorade and sat at a booth until authorities arrived. He was arrested without incident.

Leon took the plane on April 6 from the Aviation Centre of Excellence at Thunder Bay's Confederation College, where he was a student. Leon was born Yavuz Berke in Turkey before moving to Canada, changing his name and becoming a naturalized citizen.

Leon was earlier found competent to stand trial in U.S. federal court after a mental examination in April. Leon was ordered detained pending further proceedings.

 
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