ASN News List of aircraft crashes involving non-pilots stealing an aircraft - ASN News
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List of aircraft crashes involving non-pilots stealing an aircraft
11 August 2018

On August 10, 2018, a DHC-8-400 aircraft crashed after being stolen from Seattle/Tacoma International Airport, Washington, USA, by an airline ground-service agent. The ASN Safety Database shows there have been several cases in which aircraft crashed after being taken on an illegal flight. The following is a list of specific cases involving non-pilots stealing an aircraft*:

13 July 1994
A Russian Air Force engineer stole an Antonov An-26 transport plane at the Kubinka AFB to commit suicide. The aircraft crashed when there was no more fuel left.  (ASN Accident Description)

12 November 1982
A Cessna Citation was stolen by a non-pilot mechanic. The aircraft climbed steeply, flew downwind and collided with the ground during a low base turn Wichita-Mid-Continent Airport, Kansas, USA. The mechanic survived. (ASN Accident Description)

22 August 1979
An HS-748 of SATENA was stolen by a mechanic who had been fired. He took off from Bogotá-Eldorado Airport, Colombia and crashed. The mechanic and three persons on the ground were killed. (ASN Accident Description)

23 May 1969
A USAF crew chief at Mildenhall RAF Station, England, took a Lockheed C-130E Hercules on an illegal flight. He flew over the Thames estuary and headed south toward Brighton and the English Channel. The aircraft crashed into the sea. (ASN Accident Description)

23 January 1965
Two drunk mechanics boarded a Lockheed SP-2H Neptune of the Dutch navy at night and attempted to take off from Valkenburg NAS, the Netherlands, for a joy flight. The airplane crashed at sea, killing both men. (ASN Accident Description)

29 November 1958
The C-47 was reportedly taken on an illegal flight and crashed by an RAAF aircraftsman who was not a trained pilot. (ASN Accident Description)

5 April 1956
A C-47 passenger plane of REAL Transportes Aéreos was stolen by a drunk mechanic who had been dismissed from the company. The aircraft crashed on takeoff from São Paulo-Congonhas Airport, Brazil. The mechanic survived. (ASN Accident Description)

26 April 1955
A Vickers Varsity plane of the Royal Air Force was taken on an unauthorised flight by a mechanic from Thorney Island RAF Station. The airplane flew towards the London area, circling the city and continuing across The Channel to France. The airplane crashed into a farmhouse at Onnaing. Four occupants of the house were killed, along with the pilot. (ASN Accident Description)

22 August 1953
An Aeroflot Lisunov Li-2, was stolen by a mechanic at Moscow’s Bykovo Airport. He took off, but the aircraft attained a high angle of attack, stalled and crashed from a height of 5-10 metres. The mechanic survived. (ASN Accident Description)

13 May 1945
The Union Airways Lockheed Lodestar aircraft was stolen by a 19 year old apprentice aircraft engineer who had been turned down for pilot training by the RNZAF. On takeoff he mistook the throttle for the undercarriage lever and the aircraft veered into a line of trees and caught fire. He survived. (ASN Accident Description)

* airliners (12+ passengers), corporate jets and military aircraft (12+ crew/passengers)