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Charges: Man shot airplane because he thought it was 'engaged in terrorism'

He said he was defending himself with lethal force.

A man is being accused of shooting an airplane with a high-powered rifle because it was "engaged in terrorism." 

The criminal complaint says Chad Lynndell Olson shot a 1974 Cessna Skywagon 185 plane that was flying above his property near the Fertile airport on Oct. 6.

A witness to the incident told investigators Olson said he was using "lethal force to defend himself because the airplanes were engaged in terrorism," according to the charges. 

The plane's owner reported the incident to police the next day. Charges say he heard a "twang" sound while flying near the airport, and later found a bullet hole near the plane's fuselage. 

The bullet hit the portion of the plane where there are cables and pulls, with the complaint saying if the bullet had damaged some of them, it could have caused the plane to fail. 

There were entrance and exit holes from the bullet; it'll cost about $20,000 to fix the plane, the complaint says.

Investigators identified Olson as a suspect, noting he has a history of complaining about airplanes flying over his property. Witnesses have also reported him shooting at airplanes on a few different occasions. 

Olson was charged last week with attempted second-degree murder, second-degree assault, and two counts of criminal damage to property, which are all felonies.

If he's convicted of attempted second-degree murder – the most serious of the four charges – he could face up to 20 years in prison. 

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