Frank Abagnale, Jr. has some competition.
A 22-year-old student pilot jumped a security fence at Orlando Melbourne International Airport in Florida around 2 a.m. Thursday and boarded an American Airlines passenger jet that was undergoing maintenance, officials said.
A maintenance worker saw Nishal Sankat, a student at the Florida Institute of Technology, and asked him for his access badge, which he did not have, spokeswoman Lori Booker told reporters.
Two employees caught Sankat as he tried to enter the cockpit and held him down until police arrived minutes later.
He was taken to Brevard County Jail and is expected to be charged with criminal attempt to steal an airplane, a visa violation and criminal trespassing.
The FBI and the Joint Terrorism Task Force are also involved in the investigation.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration, Sankat earned his commercial pilot certificate in January, which allows him to fly single and multiengine planes.
Sankat, who was born in Trinidad, is a part time student at the Florida Institute of Technology and studying aviation management, according to WESH.
The specific plane, the American Airlines Airbus A321, last flew out of Miami on Sunday and was scheduled to fly back at noon on Thursday, according to CNN.
Sankat’s motives are still unknown.
The airport was under lockdown for about five hours, delaying two flights.
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