Brian Joseph Hedglin — a 40-year-old commercial airline pilot who was suspected of killing a former girlfriend of his — committed suicide by shooting himself inside an airplane he stole from SkyWest Airlines at St. George Municipal Airport in Utah.
Hedglin was a pilot for SkyWest Airlines, which is headquartered in St. George.
While commandeering the Canadair Regional Jet CRJ200 aircraft, Hedglin caused several hundred thousand dollars in damage to the airport terminal as well as to the aircraft itself. The final resting spot for the aircraft was in a parking lot, where it had crashed into parked vehicles after plowing through a fence. Fuel had spilled as a result of the damages. The airport was temporarily closed and all commercial flights were cancelled, with passengers being re-accommodated on flights from Cedar City via ground transportation.
With all of his knowledge and experience, it is unclear as to why Hedglin was unsuccessful at piloting this particular aircraft.
This raises an interesting question: aircraft are not locked as they usually are not equipped with locks. Although this is an extremely rare and bizarre occurrence, should stricter security measures pertaining to parked aircraft be implemented and enforced?