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LCC aviation experts weigh in on Sea-Tac hijacking and crash

The dean of Lane Aviation Academy offers insight on the difficulties of flying a plane.

Posted: Aug 13, 2018 6:08 PM
Updated: Aug 13, 2018 7:55 PM

EUGENE, Ore. – Many are wondering how a person who was not a pilot was able to start a plane and perform a takeoff at SeaTac Airport over the weekend.

READ MORE: 'Suicidal' mechanic steals plane from Seattle airport

KEZI spoke with Pat O’Connor, dean of the Lane Aviation Academy. He said as far as flying a commercial plane like the one over the weekend it takes a minimum of 1,500 hours of seat time.

O'Connor said his students go through extensive training from their instructors.

Students must complete 39 to 60 hours of seat time in the plane to get their private pilot's licenses, including 20 hours of solo time.

RELATED: Man who hijacked Sea-Tac plane once owned bakery in North Bend

"It is complex in order to fly a plane. You have to have your controls going on in sequence,” said O’Connor. “You have to be very detailed. In fact, even experience pilots have a checklist with them every time they start an airplane, and that's one of the things we try to emphasize is being very methodical and complete."

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