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Aviation Commissioner looks at Griffiss security in light of Ontario-Missouri air chase

By By EVAN WHITE

ROME, N.Y. (WKTV) - On Monday, an Ontario flight school lost both a student and plane as Adam Leon allegedly took authorities on a six-hour multi-state chase which ended in Missouri.

Could it happen here?

Griffiss International Airport Commissioner Vernon Gray IV says yes.

"If a student pilot has gotten to the point of doing his solo flight where the instructor isn't going to be in the plane with them, than there is nothing to stop them from go doing it," Gray said.

Gray said that airport security is very strong at Griffiss, which has security fences, a badge system, electronic surveillance and a staff of 24 employees in addition to 14 Million Air staff members monitoring airport security.

Griffiss, like the Ontario airfield, has a flight school. And its instructor, Luigi Bottini, says he blames the flight instructor for what happened.

According to Bottini, student pilots are not licensed, and should specify where and when they are going on solo flights.

Federal prosecutors have reportedly charged Adam Leon, the man who stole the Ontario plane, with transportation of stolen property and illegal entry.

Federal officials believe the plane theft was part of an attempted suicide.

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