Author Topic: USA F-16's Chase CAN Light Plane That Took Off Without Permission  (Read 8527 times)

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 :tsktsk: , especially post 9-11 - MSM links below NORAD statement.

NORAD fighters respond to airspace violation
NORAD news release, 6 Apr 09
News release link
Quote
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. —Two F-16 fighters under the direction of North American Aerospace Defense Command intercepted a small Cessna aircraft near Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and the Wisconsin border today at approximately 4:43 p.m. EDT.

F-16 aircraft from the Minnesota Air National Guard initially scrambled out of  Duluth, Minn., were replaced by fighters from the Wisconsin Air National Guard based out of Madison, Wisc., who then handed off the pursuit to the Louisiana Air National Guard fighters from New Orleans.

The civilian aircraft departed Thunder Bay, Ontario without Navigation Canada authority and was reported as stolen. It entered United States airspace from the north and was headed south over Lake Superior at approximately 4:23 p.m. EDT. After intercept, the pilot acknowledged the fighters but was unresponsive to specific non-verbal commands. U.S. Customs Border Protection aircraft intercepted the Cessna as well, but the F-16s followed the aircraft until it landed in an area 23 miles northwest of Poplar Bluff, Mo., at 9:45 p.m. EDT.

The intent of military intercepts is to have the identified aircraft re-establish communications with local FAA air traffic controllers and instruct the pilot to follow air traffic controllers to land safely for further follow-on action ....

More from the Associated Press, CanWest News Service, CBC.ca, CTV.ca, Reuters and Agence France-Presse.

- edited to add AFP story link -
« Last Edit: April 07, 2009, 07:23:45 by milnews.ca »
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Offline GAP

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Re: USA F-16's Chase CAN Light Plane That Took Off Without Permission
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2009, 08:09:01 »
Rogue pilot ends flight on Missouri highway
JOSH WINGROVE Globe and Mail update April 7, 2009 at 4:32 AM EDT
  Article Link

The pilot of a stolen Canadian trainer plane ignored the warnings of U.S. fighter jets to land before finally putting down on a southern Missouri highway Monday night, after the plane was stolen from a Northern Ontario college and taken on a rogue flight into U.S. airspace.

The pilot, identified by police as 31-year-old Adam Dylan Leon, eventually landed the plane on a rural road, reportedly tried to hide it under a bridge, and hitched a ride to a nearby grocer. Inside, he bought a bottle of Gatorade and waited for 30 minutes before being arrested.

"The plane was put down, the suspect fled the aircraft on foot, and local authorities subsequently picked him up," said RCMP superintendent Tim Cogan.

The ordeal began after the plane took off at 2:55 p.m. ET from the airport in Thunder Bay, Ont., which sits on the northern shores of Lake Superior just north of the Minnesota border.

The pilot had entered the fenced-in area where Confederation College keeps about a dozen planes used in its flight schools. The college said earlier in the night it couldn't say if the pilot was a student, but a friend of Mr. Leon's said he'd been taking flight courses in Thunder Bay.

The plane had the keys in it and was behind locked barriers, said Judi Maundrell, vice-president Academic and Student Services at the college.

"He had access [to the hangar], so obviously there's some connection, but I'm not sure what that connection is," Supt. Cogan said, adding the man was a Canadian citizen. CNN reported a suicide note was found near the hangar.

The pilot got in a Cessna 172 single-engine plane with full fuel tanks, and took off.

The pilot's path took him across Lake Superior and into the northern tip of Michigan, when two American F-16 fighter jets began following it.

The pilot, who is alleged to have been Mr. Leon, acknowledged the two F-16 Falcons visually, but did not speak with authorities over the radio. He then went through two other states — prompting an evacuation of Wisconsin's capitol building — before landing along Route FF, near Ellsinore, Mo., a town about 200 kilometres southwest of St. Louis.

"He did land on his own accord, and he's currently under the jurisdiction of local authorities," North American Aerospace Defense Command Master Sergeant Claudette Hutchinson said.

After landing the plane around 9:45 ET, the suspect fled into the woods, Missouri State Highway Patrol Sergeant Marty Elmore said.

According to staff at nearby grocery store and restaurant, he hitched a ride with another person before entering Simmons Grocery & Hardware, near Ellsinore. He used the facilities and bought a drink.

"He sat in here in the store with us for like 30 minutes. He heard us talking about people looking for a man who was running from the law," said Teresa Davidson, 41, a cashier at the place. Mr. Leon tried to buy beef jerky and a lemon-lime Gatorade, but only had enough for the drink, she said.

"He did seem a little nervous, but he didn't act strange or nothing," Ms. Davidson told The Globe and Mail. Then, around 10:20 ET, "Oh man there was just cops everywhere, they just came in and got him."

He went peacefully, she said. Staff identified him as an outsider when he asked to use a "washroom" instead of a "bathroom."

"It has been a crazy night. We was very scared," she said.

Sgt. Elmore said Mr. Leon would be facing a number of charges, and was to be handed over to federal authorities.

His flight path was erratic, and he never did speak with authorities over the radio, NORAD's Master Sgt. Hutchinson said.

"No indication of communication … He just was erratic for a period of time there, and then landed," she said.
More on link
REMEMBER SOME PEOPLE ARE ALIVE SIMPLY BECAUSE IT IS ILLEGAL TO SHOOT THEM

Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I´m not so sure about the universe

Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.

My mind is like lighting, one brilliant flash, then its gone.....

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Offline Dolphin_Hunter

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Re: USA F-16's Chase CAN Light Plane That Took Off Without Permission
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2009, 08:32:51 »
"It has been a crazy night. We was very scared," she said.

Cue the banjo.

What was this guy thinking?  I know Thunder Bay is a dump, but why on earth would you cross the border?

Offline Jim Seggie

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Re: USA F-16's Chase CAN Light Plane That Took Off Without Permission
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2009, 09:00:08 »
WTF was he thinking? That the US would welcome him with open arms? He'll be lucky if all he gets is a few years in a US Federal prison.
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Re: USA F-16's Chase CAN Light Plane That Took Off Without Permission
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2009, 09:11:54 »
US Federal Prison or Thunder Bay...   

I think he made the right choice   ;D

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Re: USA F-16's Chase CAN Light Plane That Took Off Without Permission
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2009, 09:14:25 »
According to the news this AM...he is of Turkish decent, became a Canadian just a year ago..........

Why do we import the weirdo's.....we have enough home grown ones as it is.....
REMEMBER SOME PEOPLE ARE ALIVE SIMPLY BECAUSE IT IS ILLEGAL TO SHOOT THEM

Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I´m not so sure about the universe

Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.

My mind is like lighting, one brilliant flash, then its gone.....

A young boy asks his father "Dad, where did I get my intelligence from?"

Dad replies "You must have gotten it from your mother, I still have mine."

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Re: USA F-16's Chase CAN Light Plane That Took Off Without Permission
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2009, 10:14:24 »
The latest from the Associated Press:
Quote
A man suspected of stealing a plane in Canada and flying erratically across three states was trying to commit suicide, hoping he would be shot down by military fighter planes, a state trooper said Tuesday.

Adam Dylan Leon, 31, was arrested at a convenience store in Ellsinore, Mo., shortly after landing the single-engine, four-seat Cessna on a rural Missouri road Monday night, ending a six-hour flight, police said.

The plane was tracked as a "flight safety issue" and was not believed to be a terrorist threat, Mike Kucharek, spokesman for the North American Aerospace Defence Command, said in a telephone interview from Colorado Springs.

The Missouri state trooper who arrested Leon said on ABC's "Good Morning America" that the pilot told him he had hoped to be shot down.

"He made a statement that he was trying to commit suicide and he didn't have the courage to do it himself," Trooper Justin Watson said on ABC. "And his idea was to fly the aircraft into the United States, where he would be shot down."....
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Offline benny88

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Re: USA F-16's Chase CAN Light Plane That Took Off Without Permission
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2009, 10:29:59 »
How does one follow a -172 in an F-16? I'm pretty sure the former's top speed is slower than the latter's stall speed!
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Re: USA F-16's Chase CAN Light Plane That Took Off Without Permission
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2009, 11:09:33 »
Quote
He made a statement that he was trying to commit suicide and he didn't have the courage to do it himself," Trooper Justin Watson said on ABC. "And his idea was to fly the aircraft into the United States, where he would be shot down."....

I think we should send a protest note about the US not accommodating him.....HE HAS THE RIGHT!!!.......sorta...
REMEMBER SOME PEOPLE ARE ALIVE SIMPLY BECAUSE IT IS ILLEGAL TO SHOOT THEM

Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I´m not so sure about the universe

Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.

My mind is like lighting, one brilliant flash, then its gone.....

A young boy asks his father "Dad, where did I get my intelligence from?"

Dad replies "You must have gotten it from your mother, I still have mine."

Offline Snakedoc

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Re: USA F-16's Chase CAN Light Plane That Took Off Without Permission
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2009, 11:14:03 »
How does one follow a -172 in an F-16? I'm pretty sure the former's top speed is slower than the latter's stall speed!

I was wondering the same thing.  The bathroom vs. washroom reference was also amusing.  Good thing nothing worse happen considering the fact this guy was trying to commit suicide and all. 

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Re: USA F-16's Chase CAN Light Plane That Took Off Without Permission
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2009, 11:20:36 »
How does one follow a -172 in an F-16? I'm pretty sure the former's top speed is slower than the latter's stall speed!

F16s, like other aircraft, can turn...

Offline Moody

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Re: USA F-16's Chase CAN Light Plane That Took Off Without Permission
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2009, 12:18:39 »
I was wondering the same thing.  The bathroom vs. washroom reference was also amusing.  Good thing nothing worse happen considering the fact this guy was trying to commit suicide and all.

Suicide? Nah. Just a giant cry for help.

I can think of a number of ways you can effectively kill yourself in a 172; crossing the border and hoping some Vipers wipe me out would not be one of them.

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Missouri Federal Prosecutor Lays Charges
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2009, 07:36:30 »
Here's details of the charges laid - highlights mine:
Quote
Adam Dylan Leon was charged today in a federal complaint with transportation of stolen property and illegal entry for flying a stolen Cessna 172 aircraft into the United States from Canada, announced U.S. Attorney Catherine L. Hanaway.

According to the affidavit filed with the federal complaint:  Yesterday afternoon, April 6, 2009, a Cessna 172 took off from an airport in the area of Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, without approval from air traffic control and without radio contact.  The plane was owned by Confederation College, a flight training school, in Thunder Bay.  The Royal Canadian Mounted Police later determined that the plane was stolen by Adam Leon, a student at Confederation College and that he did not have authorization to fly the plane.

Due to the unknown nature of the flight and Leon’s lack of radio communication, appropriate authorities were notified of the plane’s location and direction of travel for public safety.  U.S.  Department of Defense aircraft intercepted the Cessna 172 after it entered United States airspace.  Attempts to communicate with Leon were unsuccessful.  Leon landed the plane on a road off of Highway 60 near Ellsinore, Mo.  He was arrested by the Missouri Highway Patrol at a local grocery store in Ellsinore. 

Yavuz Berke, a/k/a Adam Dylan Leon, 31, of Thunder Bay, Ontario, was charged in the federal complaint with a violation of Title 18, USC, Section 2312, interstate transportation of a stolen aircraft; and Title 8, USC , 1325(a)(1), illegal entry into the United States.

Interstate transportation of stolen property carries a maximum penalty of ten years in prison.   Illegally entering the United States carries a penalty of six months prison.

The charges set forth in a complaint are merely accusations, and each defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
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NORAD: Chase costs ~$500K
« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2009, 16:30:02 »
If the Google Translate version is to be trusted, Turkish media are quoting a NORAD spokesperson saying the chase cost ~$500K - original in Turkish here.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2012, 20:56:20 by milnews.ca »
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Re: USA F-16's Chase CAN Light Plane That Took Off Without Permission
« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2009, 13:54:35 »
Cue the banjo.

What was this guy thinking?  I know Thunder Bay is a dump, but why on earth would you cross the border?
I hope you're not being serious, 'cause I'd have a few things to say!
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Re: USA F-16's Chase CAN Light Plane That Took Off Without Permission
« Reply #15 on: April 11, 2009, 10:41:25 »
According to CanWest News Service:
Quote
A Canadian man who allegedly stole a plane and flew it to the United States in hopes that he would be shot down by F-16 fighter pilots was ordered Friday to undergo a psychiatric examination.

Adam Dylan Leon, 31, briefly appeared Friday for a detention hearing in a federal courtroom in St. Louis.

A magistrate judge granted the defence's request for Leon to be examined by medical experts to determine if he will be fit to stand trial.

His psychiatric evaluation will be completed "as soon as possible" which means that it may take as long as 30 days, said Terri Dougherty, a spokeswoman with the U.S. Department of Justice.

In the meantime, Leon remains in federal custody and will be transported back to prison ....
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Re: USA F-16's Chase CAN Light Plane That Took Off Without Permission
« Reply #16 on: April 11, 2009, 11:46:40 »

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Re: USA F-16's Chase CAN Light Plane That Took Off Without Permission
« Reply #17 on: November 03, 2009, 22:33:33 »
Canadian gets 2 years for flying plane over 3 U.S. states

The Canadian Press
Date: Tuesday Nov. 3, 2009
copy at : http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20091103/leon_sentence_091103/20091103?hub=Canada

Quote
ST. LOUIS — A 31-year-old Canadian man has been sentenced to two years in federal prison for stealing a plane in Canada and flying over three states before landing along a dark southern Missouri highway.

Adam Dylan Leon had admitted in August to all federal charges he'd faced: interstate transportation of a stolen aircraft, importation of a stolen aircraft and illegal entry.

Leon was born Yavuz Berke in Turkey before moving to Canada, changing his name, and becoming a naturalized citizen. He was described as a good student and was well-liked at the Confederation College Flight School in Thunder Bay, Ont., where the plane was stolen.

Leon might have received only 12 to 18 months. But U.S. District Judge Charles Shaw went beyond federal sentencing guidelines in deciding punishment.

Shaw said the 31-year-old's actions posed risks to himself and others, cost the government $230,000 to keep fighter jets in the air for seven hours tracking him, and caused the Madison, Wis., capitol to evacuate.

Leon admitted that on April 6, he stole a four-seat Cessna 172 from his flight school and crossed the U.S. border.

Leon landed the plane more than seven hours later on a road off of Highway 60 near Ellsinore, Mo.

He has told the court he suffered from depression.

The unauthorized flight into U.S. air space prompted two F-16 jet fighters into action, tailing the plane until it landed near Ellsinore, Mo., more than seven hours after it was reported stolen.

The state Capitol in Madison, Wis., was evacuated for a time because authorities were not sure whether the pilot was a terrorist or had some other hostile motive.

The FBI and Missouri State Highway Patrol have said Leon told them he was trying to commit suicide, hoping U.S. fighter jets would shoot him down.

A spokesman for the North American Aerospace Defence Command said earlier that shooting down the plane was never seriously considered. The F-16 pilots used hand gestures and flares to try and persuade the pilot to land.

Authorities said the plane was nearly out of fuel when it landed on a former stretch of U.S. 60 that is now just a loop off the main highway.

The judge also had some advice for Leon, whose lawyer, Lucille Liggett, had asked for leniency, saying her client suffered from severe depression from the death of his parents in 2002 in Turkey.

Shaw told Leon it would be worth his while to see "It's a Wonderful Life," the classic Frank Capra film starring James Stewart, about a despairing man who comes to know through an angel what life would have been like if he never had lived. Leon said he hadn't see it.

Assistant U.S. Attorney John Sauer said the sentence was fitting for a "dangerous and harmful course of conduct," and hopes it will deter others from such behaviour.

"Law enforcement response was excellent, competent and swift," Sauer said. "It never ended up being a serious imminent threat to anyone's security."

Brady Randus, a friend from his flight school in Thunder Bay, Ont., wrote in a letter to the judge that he knew Leon was "honest, trustworthy and dependable" and an intelligent student who was at the top of his class and well-liked by others in the program.

He wrote that Leon's actions were "shocking" and "totally out of his character." The friend's father, Karl Randus, agreed, saying in his letter that Leon's actions came on the anniversary of his parents' death. "We can't imagine what he was thinking, but we care about Adam, he is a good person, and we hope there will be a chance for leniency for him."

He admitted that on April 6, he stole a four-seat Cessna 172 from his flight school and crossed the U.S. border.

Leon landed the plane more than seven hours later on a road off of Highway 60 near Ellsinore, Mo.

He has told the court he suffered from depression.

The unauthorized flight into U.S. air space prompted two F-16 jet fighters into action, tailing the plane until it landed near Ellsinore, Mo., more than seven hours after it was reported stolen.

The state Capitol in Madison, Wis., was evacuated for a time because authorities were not sure whether the pilot was a terrorist or had some other hostile motive.

The FBI and Missouri State Highway Patrol have said Leon told them he was trying to commit suicide, hoping U.S. fighter jets would shoot him down.

A spokesman for the North American Aerospace Defence Command said earlier that shooting down the plane was never seriously considered. The F-16 pilots used hand gestures and flares to try and persuade the pilot to land.

Authorities said the plane was nearly out of fuel when it landed on a former stretch of U.S. 60 that is now just a loop off the main highway.
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FBI statement on sentencing....
« Reply #18 on: November 04, 2009, 07:24:27 »
.... here:
Quote
.... “Illegally entering the United States in a stolen plane is tantamount to a breach of our nation's borders,” said Gary Hartwig, special agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in Chicago. “We work closely with our law enforcement partners to identify border security threats and investigate those who violate U.S. immigration and customs laws.”

“This turned out not to be a terrorist act and fortunately no one got hurt,” said Roland J. Corvington, special agent in charge of the FBI in St. Louis. “But today’s sentencing shows how the FBI and its partners take national security seriously by dedicating unlimited hours and resources needed to resolve what was a threat at the time.”

Adam Dylan Leon, a.k.a. Yavuz Berke, 31, of Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, pleaded guilty in August to one felony count of interstate transportation of a stolen aircraft, one felony count of importation of a stolen aircraft, and one count of illegal entry into the United States. He appeared today for sentencing before United States District Judge Charles A. Shaw, in St. Louis, MO.

Reap commended the work on the case by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Thunder Bay Police of Ontario, Canada, and Assistant United States Attorney D. John Sauer, who handled the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
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Re: USA F-16's Chase CAN Light Plane That Took Off Without Permission
« Reply #19 on: March 22, 2011, 09:01:22 »
Reviving necrothread with latest - he's back in Canada, facing the music with charges of theft over $5K:
Quote
The Thunder Bay man who stole a college airplane and flew it into the U.S. returned to Canada Friday.

Officials with the Thunder Bay Police Service confirmed Monday that Adam Dylan Leon, 33, was taken into custody by the Niagara Regional Police Service after he crossed the border into the country from Fort Erie, Ont.

Leon stole a Confederation College plane and went on an unauthorized flight over three U.S. states on April 6, 2009. He pleaded guilty in an American courtroom to interstate transportation of a stolen aircraft and illegal entry, and was sentenced to two years in jail for those crimes in August 2009. 

He learned in December 2010 that he would be released from prison and sent back to Canada, where there were outstanding warrants for his arrest because of the laws broken in this country as a result of the plane theft.

Leon will now be sent back to Thunder Bay with the assistance of the RCMP. He is expected to be back in the city on Tuesday, and will appear via video court on Wednesday ....
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Canadian court date moved to September
« Reply #20 on: July 08, 2011, 13:03:31 »
Quote
The man who allegedly stole a plane from Confederation College in April 2009 will have to wait until September to face the charges against him.  The case against 33-year-old Adam Dylan Leon, charged with theft over $5,000, was adjourned to Sept. 1 during a Friday (8 Jul 11) hearing at the Ontario Court of Justice.  Leon is accused of stealing the Confederation College plane and going on an unauthorized flight across three U.S. states on April 6, 2009 ....
Source:  tbnewswatch.com, 8 Jul 11
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Canadian court date moved to November
« Reply #21 on: October 05, 2011, 13:18:36 »
Bump up with the latest.....
Quote
The Thunder Bay man who stole a college airplane and flew it into the U.S. won’t appear in court again until next month.  Attorneys met briefly in the Ontario Court of Justice in Thunder Bay on Wednesday to adjourn the matter of Adam Leon until Nov. 2. Leon did not appear in court as he was in Toronto and was represented by his lawyer ....
tbnewswatch.com, 5 Oct 11
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Bump with the latest....
Quote
The man accused of stealing a Confederation College plane in 2009 continues to wait to discover his fate.

Adam Leon’s laywer, Neil McCartney, filed an argument in writing Monday morning on whether his client can be prosecuted in Canada after having already been convicted and jailed for two years in an American prison for illegally entering the United States and interstate transportation of a stolen aircraft.

Leon, 33, has been charged with theft over $5,000 after taking the aircraft for an unscheduled flight from the Thunder Bay airport.

He was arrested in Missouri, after being pursued by U.S. fighter jets and finally landing on a secondary highway.

Following his release last year, Leon was deported back to Canada, and was charged with theft by Thunder Bay Police.

The Crown asked for time to file its own argument in writing.

Both arguments will be reviewed on June 27; a hearing will be set at that time.
tbnewswatch.com, 28 May 12
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"He has told the court he suffered from depression."

When I'm feeling a little blue I steal planes and cross international boarders with it. I am so sick and tired of seeing depression or PTSD being used as a catch-all.

I murdered my wife cause my mom didnt love me.... ::)

Offline Sigs Pig

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"He learned in December 2010 that he would be released from prison and sent back to Canada, where there were outstanding warrants for his arrest because of the laws broken in this country as a result of the plane theft."
His lawyer only now submitted papers? Stall and then throw it out, that is our justice system (read: lawyers salary)

Dogger, I hear ya...

My dad used to be unhappy with the fact the small depression in the field would fill with rainwater and nothing had a chance to grow there, but he never contemplated suicide. That was my upbringing on depression.

ME
We work to eat to get the strength to work to eat to get the strength to work.
- John Dos Passos, 1896 - 1970