Student pilot hops fence and gets into American Airlines plane at Melbourne airport

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Passengers at the Melbourne airport locked out for hours during a scary scene, before the sun came up.

“Chaotic,” said traveler David Fushburne, “we got up real early. We were here at the airport at five. Tried to get in. Police had the lane blocked off. What's going on? The airport's closed.”

“We didn't know if it was a bomb, or explosives, or if someone was held hostage, or anything. We had no idea what was going on,” added Rosanne Lapine.

They had no idea that a 26-year-old student pilot could have put their lives in danger. Around two in the morning, he parked his car over by the curb, jumped the fence, ran across a field, and got onto that American Airlines jet. He was tackled by airport workers, and everyone evacuated from the terminal, and told to wait across the street.

“We went over to the Sears parking lot because there were other people there and then I called Delta, who told us to go to Kaiser University and wait there,” Fishburne said.

In all, two planes were delayed but eventually took off, once the lockdown was lifted. Passengers still can't believe the chaotic morning at the typically quiet Melbourne airport.

“I love this airport,” said Sue Fennawald, “it's really safe. My husband travels for his job and he flies in and out of here a lot. And I couldn't believe how quickly the airport rectified that extremely scary situation.”

The FBI Tampa says they are working with state and local task force members to investigate this incident.