The chief flight instructor of a Cedar Rapids area flying school is confident no young student could run off and steal one of her planes. Jan Walton, co-owner of P-and-N Flight School, says what happened in Tampa, Florida, over the weekend would not happen in Marion as there are security measures that keep all the keys locked up.A 15-year-old crashed a single-engine plane into an office building on Saturday, killing himself. He’s described as a troubled young man who did leave a suicide note which expressed sympathies for Osama bin Laden. Walton says she gets many young student-pilots, ranging in age from 12-years-old and up.Walton says there’s a long series of tests a person has to go through before being allowed to solo in a plane.A high-school counselor in Marshalltown says it’s not uncommon to find teenagers have less control over rash impulses, especially if they’re troubled.One of several warning signals is the amount of “risk-taking’ behaviors. Lynn Ford says a parent, relative or friend who knows a teen is troubled can offer sympathy, advice, or help find a professional to intervene if it seems like the young person might do something dangerous.She says Marshalltown High is lucky that in the past, students have picked up signals, come in, and had adults intervene in cases where she knows it’s prevented tragedy. Ford says young people are less likely to think before taking action, or reflect on the effects of their choices. Authorities who knew a Florida teen before he crashed a training plane into a building this weekend say the boy was a troubled loner.
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