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NORAD: Shooting down plane not considered

by Bryce Moore

KMOV.com

Posted on April 8, 2009 at 12:20 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 4 at 3:06 PM

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- The agency charged with protecting North American air space never considered shooting down a rogue pilot who stole a plane in Canada and flew erratically for seven hours before landing on a dark Missouri highway.

The suspect, 31-year-old Adam Dylan Leon, is jailed in St. Louis on two federal charges.

Authorities say Leon stole a plane from his flight school in Ontario on Monday, then flew over Wisconsin, Illinois and Missouri before landing on U.S. 60 near Ellsinore, Mo. A passer-by took him to a store, where he was arrested.

Mike Kucharek of the North American Aerospace Defense Command says use of lethal force is always an option when pilots violate air space. But Kucharek says officials determined early that Leon did not have "hostile intent."

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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