Indian-Origin Youth Arrested in Orlando for Trying to Steal Aircraft
Nishal Sankat, who is originally from Trinidad and Tobago, was seized from the cockpit of an American Airlines Airbus plane that was parked for maintenance at Orlando Melbourne International Airport.
An Indian-origin youth was arrested and charged with criminal attempt to steal a plane on Sept. 20 after he entered the cockpit of an aircraft at Orlando Melbourne International Airport.
Nishal Sankat, 22, who is originally from Trinidad and Tobago, was seized from the cockpit of an American Airlines Airbus plane that was parked on the tarmac for maintenance, according to reports.
Sankat reportedly came near the airport in his car at 2 a.m. on Sept. 20. He jumped over the barbed wire fence and reached the aircraft under maintenance. To avoid any suspicion, he kept his car ignition on. He was arrested after flight maintenance workers challenged him and summoned the airport police who immediately arrested him. Police are trying to ascertain what he wanted to do with the aircraft.
“The individual was confronted as soon as he was on the aircraft. The employee who was on the aircraft took appropriate action and escorted him off the aircraft,” CBS quoted Melbourne Police Chief David Gillespie as saying. But after he was dragged from the plane, Sankat broke free, running back toward the jet. Soon after police took him into custody, CBS said.
Sankat, a part-time student of aviation management at the Florida Institute of Technology, received a commercial pilot’s license from the Federal Aviation Administration eight months ago. He was not qualified to fly this type of plane.
He was charged with grand theft, burglary and trespassing and was being held in the Brevard County Jail without bail, Floridatoday.com reported.
He is the son of Clement Sankat, the president of the University of Belize and former president of University of West Indies.
After this incident, Prof. Sankat issued a statement to the Trinidad Express Newspaper, calling it an extremely difficult period.
Referring to the family, the statement said: “At this time, they have not yet been able to speak with their son, and since they have limited information, are still trying to ascertain all the facts surrounding the incident, and his well-being. As expected, their focus right now is on providing all the legal, mental, emotional and parental support possible. What has occurred acutely underscores to the family the need to be aware of the challenges young students face, especially those living away from home and family.”
Police told CBS that they searched Sankat’s home and confiscated his electronics, but at this time there is no evidence to indicate a connection to terrorism.