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Mon, Aug 18, 2008

Pilot Who Stole Cessna, Talked Of Suicide Lands Safely

Mall, Apartment Complex Evacuated

ANN REALTIME REPORTING 08.18.08 1600 EDT: Authorities say the pilot of a stolen Cessna 172 who took off from Roanoke Regional Airport Monday morning and circled a mall for hours, talking of suicide, later landed back at the airport without incident.

The Associated Press reports the unnamed pilot landed the white single-engine aircraft at around 2:30 pm, about three-and-a-half hours after the plane took off from ROA.

Franklin County Administrator Rick Huff said earlier the plane's pilot "has given some indication that he intends to commit suicide in the plane."

The aircraft spent hours circling over a nearby mall and high-rise apartment complex. Both were evacuated by authorities, and Huff said authorities remained in contact with the pilot.

FMI: www.roanokeregionalairport.com

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