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Former Flight Student, 25, Accused Of Trying To Steal Plane At Gunpoint

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COMPTON (CBS) — A former flight student was arrested for allegedly trying to steal an airplane at gunpoint Friday at Woodley Airport in Compton, a sheriff’s deputy said.

KNX 1070’s Brian Ping Reports

Troy Daniel Long, 25, of Bellflower, allegedly went into the airport office and took keys for airplanes, said Deputy Peter Gomez of the Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau.

When employees confronted him, Long reportedly pulled out a handgun and left the office with the keys just before 8 a.m., Gomez said.

“He went to the tarmac and entered a Cessna 152 airplane and started the engine,” Gomez said.

Long was revving the engine of the two-seat, single-engine aircraft and attempting to fly away when deputies arrived. The back part of the plane was still secured to the tarmac, preventing takeoff, Gomez said.

“The plane was lurching and bucking against the chain which was holding it in place,” Gomez said. “Numerous deputies with guns drawn began yelling for Long to turn off the plane’s engine.”

Long eventually pulled off his headset, turned off the engine and exited the airplane with his hands in the air. He was booked by FBI agents for suspicion of aircraft piracy and taken to the Federal Metropolitan Detention Center.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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