An airborne joyride turned deadly earlier this week in Alabama when three teenagers were killed in a plane crash just northwest of Birmingham.
Local authorities believe that the teenagers were taking the plane on a “joyride” when they crashed in Jasper, Alabama. One of the teenagers was a student pilot, and authorities believe that the group took the small plane without permission on Tuesday night.
Walker County sheriff’s Chief Deputy James Painter said:
“We don’t know for sure but we think it was some teenagers who stole the plane and were sort of joyriding it. They got it in and took off and didn’t go very far. I think they were just looking for a thrill and they had their last one.”
ABC reports that the plane took off from Walker County Airport on Tuesday night. Airport manager Edwin Banks said that the student pilot did not have permission to fly the plane and that the pilot was not qualified to fly a plane at night.
Banks said that the teenagers were flying a Piper PA 30 airplane, which is also known as a Piper Twin Comanche. The small plane, which was built in the 1960s, is a popular model for flight schools.
“It was a student pilot flying an airplane without permission, an airplane that he was not qualified to fly at night … He got in a double-engine at night in bad weather with a couple of his buddies.”
Authorities have not released the names of the victims yet.