(LAS VEGAS) — An air traffic controller’s calm words helped talk down a former flight student from the air after he allegedly stole a plane from a Las Vegas airport.
Evan Grant, 27, allegedly stole the plane from the North Las Vegas Airport late Saturday night, and after about an hour in the air, with authorities watching anxiously, the air traffic controller was able to convince him to land.
According to air traffic control audio obtained from liveatc.net, the official at the tower spoke calmly, saying he just wanted to get Grant down safely.
“I kind of screwed up your night, didn’t I?” Grant said, according to the audio.
“I just want to get you down on the ground safely,” the flight controller said. “We’ll grab some coffee, go to my house, whatever. We’ll have a — we’ll just talk, OK? Just come on down.”
Grant said he hadn’t eaten in almost 18 hours, citing “the emotional aspect of everything.”
After about an hour in the air, Grant was finally convinced to land, thanks to that stranger on the radio.
“Since you’ve kept me company I’ll just make it easier for you,” the pilot’s voice on the audio says. “I’ll just come down.”
As he turned back to the airport, the pilot’s voice tells the controller that he knows he’s in big trouble.
“I’ve already committed enough felonies,” he says. “I can’t believe I’m never going to get to do this again.”
But the controller tries to reassure him: “You will, you will.”
After the landing, Grant was arrested by North Las Vegas police on a charge of grand larceny auto. He booked into the Las Vegas city jail and has not entered a plea.
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