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Cory Patterson: Lineman who stole airplane and threatened to CRASH into Walmart left lving note for parents, sister

The plan to land at the airport was aborted because Patterson lacked sufficient experience to bring the aircraft down
Corry Patterson (L) a lineman stole an airplane(R) flew the same and threatened to crash land into Walmart (Corry Patterson/Facebook, ABC News/YouTube)
Corry Patterson (L) a lineman stole an airplane(R) flew the same and threatened to crash land into Walmart (Corry Patterson/Facebook, ABC News/YouTube)

TUPELO, MISSISSIPPI: Cory Patterson, 29, a lineman from Tupelo Airport stole the plane at around 5 am on Saturday, September 3, and flew in circles across Mississippi for at least five hours. Patterson also threatened to intentionally crash the Beechcraft King Air 90 plane into the Walmart situated in Mississippi.

Tupelo Police Chief John Quaka said in a news conference Saturday, September 3, “Negotiators from the Tupelo Police Department made contact with the pilot and were able to convince him to not carry out this deed and to land the airplane at Tupelo airport,” Quaka said. “He was getting close to running out of fuel.”


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According to DailyMail, Quaka stated that Patterson’s motivation remains unclear and that Tupelo police would work with the FBI to figure it out. Though he had received flight instruction, he said that he believed Patterson was not a licensed flight pilot. The plane crash-landed after several hours in a field near Gravestwon,Ripley and has been described as having "some damage" but it "remains intact". He has been arrested under the charges of grand larceny and making terroristic threats, and is expected to face federal charges.  


In a now-deleted post which appeared as a final message, Patterson posted on Facebook, "Sorry everyone. Never actually wanted to hurt anyone. I love my parents and sister this isn’t your fault. Goodbye." The tower at the airport was not occupied by other employees at the time of the theft. He is a lineman for Tupelo Aviation who was in charge of fuelling the aircraft.

Cory Paterson's final message posted on Facebook (Cory Patterson/Facebook)
Cory Paterson's final message was posted on Facebook (Cory Patterson/Facebook)

The cops described it as a "crime of opportunity" because Patterson had easy access to the airport. He is understood to work at the Tupelo Regional Airport and has regularly posted about flying planes across the country. Watch the video of crash-landing here. The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed they are working with local law enforcement to understand if Patterson was the only one in the airplane. Patterson contacted police regarding his intentions around 5 am and remained in contact with them for some time before ending communication. Unfortunately, the officers lost communication with him for around two hours, until he contacted the negotiation team to inform them he had landed and was uninjured. 

Tupelo Police Chief, John Quaka addressing the media on Saturday, September 3 ( ABC News/YouTube)
Tupelo Police Chief, John Quaka addressed the media on Saturday, September 3 ( ABC News/YouTube)

"We do anticipate that the federal government will proceed with federal charges. He did have contact with his family during the incident." Said Quaka. He added, "We believe that he was very close to running out of fuel." Authorities evacuated the Walmart, which was the location of the original threat. The cops took away and urged all nearby locals to move out from the vicinity of Walmart. Patterson circled around the Walmart store, with witnesses claiming it then flew to the Toyota plant in Blue Springs before being spotted in Ripley. 

Patterson took multiple circles near Walmart and then
Patterson took multiple circles near Walmart and then landed near Ripley (ABC News/ YouTube)