17-Year-Old Girl Crashes King Air After Joyride

 - December 19, 2019, 4:46 PM
The 1979 Beechcraft King Air 200 was substantially damaged after a girl gained access to the general aviation area at Fresno Yosemite International Airport, somehow managed to start one of the turboprop's engines, and propel it into a fence and a building. (Photo: Jim Guy/The Fresno Bee)

Police and aviation authorities in Fresno, California are investigating how a 17-year-old girl gained access to a Beechcraft King Air 200 and crashed it into an airport building early Wednesday morning at Fresno Yosemite International Airport. The unidentified minor was able to enter the aircraft, which was parked on the TechnicAir ramp, start one of the turboprop twin's engines, and move it.

Surveillance video shows the aircraft moving away from the repair facility building under power, pivoting 180 degrees after striking a chainlink fence and then returning approximately 200 feet to impact the repair facility’s hangar. According to airport officials, the 40-year-old airplane suffered substantial damage, and images from the scene show damage to the left engine.

In a statement, the airport noted the minor was seated in the pilot’s seat wearing a headset when police arrived on the scene. While uninjured in the accident, she was described as appearing disoriented and was uncooperative as she was taken into custody for attempted aircraft theft. She was booked at juvenile hall.