Student pilot boards plane, causes Florida airport lockdown

MELBOURNE, Fla. (AP) — Authorities in Florida say a 26-year-old student pilot boarded a vacant Airbus 321 American Airlines aircraft in a maintenance facility, causing a short lockdown at Orlando-Melbourne International Airport.

Airport spokeswoman Lori Booker tells news outlets the student drove to the curb outside the airport early Thursday, left his car running, hopped a fence and boarded the plane. A maintenance worker spotted him and police took him into custody.

Booker said officials conducted a sweep of the airfield before re-opening the airport. She says no passengers were in the area at the time.

Booker said the man was born in Trinidad and entered the United States through Canada. She says he has a Florida driver’s license, but didn’t know what school he attended.

Melbourne is 70 miles (112 kilometers) southeast of Orlando.

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