Florida Pilot Student Arrested After Attempt to Steal Airplane

September 20th, 2018

Melbourne, FL

In the middle of the night on Sept. 20th, a student pilot drove up to the tarmac, left his car running, jumped the fence, and ran across until and went aboard an American Airlines Airbus 321 that was parked for maintenance. Melbourne International Airport maintenance crew spotted the student suspect and contacted the airport police department immediately. Suspect continued to run back toward airplane even after being captured. According to sources, subject was arrested in just around 2 minutes.


Subject was identified as Nishal Sankat, a 22 year old Florida Institute of Technology student pilot, originally from the Caribbean country of Trinidad and Tobago. He had just received his commercial pilot license earlier this year in January

Sankat is being charged with trespassing, burglary, and attempted theft of aircraft. There is still no word in his motives.


This instance is not the first of its kind this year. Earlier this year, a similar occurrence was witnessed in Seattle, when airport worker piloted a parked airplane into a crash in nearby close woods.


This leads to make people question whether it is safe to leave these planes in the tarmac unattended, as it appears to be easy to gracefully aboard parked aircraft. No known terrorism links in both cases.