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NORAD says it never considered shooting down Canadian rogue pilot

April 8, 2009, St. Louis, MO - The agency charged with protecting North American airspace 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.


April 8, 2009
By Carey Fredericks

April 8, 2009, St. Louis, MO – The agency charged with protecting North American airspace 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 Leon, is jailed in St. Louis on two federal charges.

Authorities say Leon stole a plane from his flight school in Thunder Bay, Ont., on Monday, then flew over Wisconsin, Illinois and Missouri before landing in Ellsinore, Mo.

A passer-by took him to a store, where he was arrested.

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