A possibly suicidal 23-year-old Oceanside man who allegedly stole a single-engine plane in San Diego is facing a theft charge after landing at LAX. His father said he’s not shocked it happened and glad he got arrested.
Skye Turner, who stopped to refuel in Palm Springs and had been flying for about six hours, finally landed at Los Angeles International Airport about 3 a.m. Friday.
"It was an unscheduled landing, and it was suspicious," so airport police took the man into custody, FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said.
Turner was taken to a hospital to be checked out and then arrested. His father said he’s not surprised.
"He's done things like this before. This is not new," Peter Turner said. "This is the way he acts. This is a typical thing for him."
He describes his 23-year-old son Skye as having a genius IQ, but being socially immature and spending way too much time playing on computer flight simulators.
"I've seen some of the things he has pulled from a kid up to now, and this is another one of them. Unfortunately, this one is real serious," Turner said.
FAA records show Turner got a student pilot license in September 2004, but the certificate expired two years later.
Officials were concerned because Turner reportedly had been in a dispute with his girlfriend and had threatened to crash the single-engine, four-seater Cirrus SR22 into the ocean.
The plane was allegedly taken from Montgomery Field in the Kearny Mesa area.
As Turner entered LAX airspace, he was flying so high -- in the clouds at about 11,500 feet -- that he became disoriented, and air-traffic controllers helped talk him down. As he came in on final approach, he was going too fast and aborted at least one landing, but he eventually landed the plane successfully on the south airfield.
"Once arrested, LAX (police) referred (the suspect) to the FBI, who questioned the suspect for any nexus to terrorism," Los Angeles police Officer Bruce Borihanh said. "Once no motive for terrorism was discovered, FBI turned over the investigation to LAPD."
This is not Skye's first trouble.
Court records show, last year, the father sued his son and won claiming Skye Turner stole and forged checks for more than $9,000. Peter Turner said his son needs help, and he's hoping that's what this leads to.
"I'm glad that he's under arrest. I hate to say that, but I'm glad. I'm glad that he's arrested. This is a good thing," Turner said.
Skye Turner is being held on $20,000 bail and charged with flying a stolen aircraft. Eimiller said it was unclear at this point if he would face federal charges.