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Boy, 13, steals two planes from a resort and takes them for a spin after learning how to operate the aircraft by observing mechanics

10:36, Sunday, 21 July, 2019
Boy, 13, steals two planes from a resort and takes them for a spin after learning how to operate the aircraft by observing mechanics

A young boy in east China got himself into deep trouble after he was caught stealing two small planes from a holiday resort and operating them.

The unnamed child, aged 13, sneaked into the hangar of the lakeside Taihu National Holiday Resort in Huzhou, Zhejiang province after midnight on Monday and pushed two SeaRey flying boats out to the car park.

Shocking surveillance footage shows the teen climbing into the open cockpit of the light aircraft and managing to glide them around in the lot.

The video shows the boy losing control of the first plane and crashing it directly into a barrier.

Undeterred, the boy was spotted climbing into the second plane and starting the ignition. He glided it around for three circles before leaving the site on his bike, according to Hangzhou News.

Staff members at the flight base, which offers sightseeing services, became alarmed when they arrived the next morning to discover both flying boats - one red and one yellow - outside the hangar, with one of them damaged.

One employee told police that he recalled seeing the curious boy the day before when mechanics were working on the engine of the aircraft.

The child stared at the planes - built by US aviation company Progressive Aerodyne - for two hours, and is thought to have hatched a plan to try and fly them.

The boy admitted to breaking into the resort and operating the planes when police officers questioned him at home. His father and two sisters were completely unaware that he had sneaked out at night, Hangzhou News reported.

The owners of the 1.8 million yuan (£209,000) light-sport aircraft have accepted 2,000 yuan (£230) in compensation from the family, despite reporting that the crashed plane suffered an estimated 8,000 yuan (£930) in damage to one of its floats as well as its hull.

Tourist flight base supervisor Mr He said even though the boy had managed to glide the planes on the ground, he would not have been able to take off, which requires a trained pilot to adjust the flap angles.

'This child is truly very smart. We admire him! He was able to start the plane without any training, just by observation,' Mr He said.

'He has a lot of potential! I hope he is able to take some flight courses with us in the future and become a licensed pilot,' he added.

Mr He said he would improve security to prevent similar incidents from happening.

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