Rogue pilot who threatened to crash stolen plane into Walmart had no license OR experience landing

The man who allegedly threatened to crash a stolen plane into a Mississippi Walmart store on Saturday reportedly didn’t even have a pilot’s license.

As a result of the tense, five-hour ordeal when the plane circled the general area, the suspect, identified by multiple media outlets as Cory Wayne Patterson, 29, faces charges of grand larceny and making terrorist threats. Additional charges at the federal level are possible.

“In a press conference, Tupelo Police Chief John Quaka said that Patterson, ‘has some flight instruction, but we do not believe he is a licensed pilot,'” Fox News reported.

The investigation is ongoing.

“A Walmart in the town was evacuated just after 5:20 a.m. after Patterson called 911 and reported that he was going to fly the plane into the store…Major streets in Tupelo were also shut down,” CBS News reported, citing local authorities.

Patterson reportedly worked for Tupelo Aviation at Tupelo Regional Airport where he refueled planes as part of his job. This role reportedly gave him access to the Beechcraft King Air C90 plane in which he took flight at about 5 a.m.

Police negotiators eventually convinced Patterson to land the plane in a field near Ripley, Miss., about 40 miles northwest of Tupelo, where he was taken into custody. A private pilot had reportedly coached Patterson in what turned out be an abortive attempt to land at the Tupelo facility.

“In a Facebook message at 9:32 a.m. that now has been deleted, Patterson wrote an apology to his family, saying, ‘Sorry everyone. Never actually wanted to hurt anyone. I love my parents and sister this isn’t your fault. Goodbye,'” Fox News added. This message came when the plane was low on fuel.

The impromptu landing caused only minor damage to the aircraft. Patterson was uninjured.

“The tower at the airport was not manned at the time of the theft, with cops describing it as a ‘crime of opportunity’ because Patterson had easy access to the airport,” the Daily Mail stated.

Tupelo Mayor Todd Jordan expressed the hope that the young man will receive “the help that he needs as far as whatever he’s dealing with.”

Federal regulators may issue guidance in the context of improving security at the airport in the aftermath of this incident.

“Peter Goelz, former managing director at the National Transportation Safety Board, said the vulnerability of small airports, which cater to small planes and corporate jets, has worried security experts for years,” the Associated Press explained.

Watch a report on this incident aired by ABC News:

All suspects are presumed innocent until or unless they are convicted in a court of law of any alleged crimes.

Get the latest BPR news delivered free to your inbox daily. SIGN UP HERE


Please help us! If you are fed up with letting radical big tech execs, phony fact-checkers, tyrannical liberals and a lying mainstream media have unprecedented power over your news please consider making a donation to BPR to help us fight them. Now is the time. Truth has never been more critical!

Success! Thank you for donating. Please share BPR content to help combat the lies.
Robert Jonathan


We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. If a comment is spam, instead of replying to it please click the ∨ icon below and to the right of that comment. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.

PLEASE JOIN OUR NEW COMMENT SYSTEM! We love hearing from our readers and invite you to join us for feedback and great conversation. If you've commented with us before, we'll need you to re-input your email address for this. The public will not see it and we do not share it.

Latest Articles