Alaska Airlines pilot accused of attempting to crash airplane
An alarming incident took place on an Alaska Airlines flight on Sunday night when an off-duty pilot allegedly attempted to crash the aircraft mid-flight. The off-duty pilot, identified as Joseph David Emerson, has been charged with a staggering 83 counts of attempted murder in connection with this shocking incident.
Alaska Airlines flight from Everett to San Francisco
The event unfolded on a flight from Everett, Washington, bound for San Francisco, California. There were 80 passengers on board as the aircraft took off, and the situation took a terrifying turn while in the air.
According to Alaska Airlines, the off-duty pilot was seated in the cockpit, just behind the captain and the first officer. The airline later stated that he "unsuccessfully attempted to disrupt the operation of the engines."
The aircrew onboard Alaska Airlines Flight 2059 immediately reported the incident to air traffic control. A recording of air traffic control communication reveals the pilot saying, "We've got the guy that tried to shut the engines down out of the cockpit, and he doesn't sound like he's causing any issue in the back right now." The pilot went on to request police presence upon landing in Portland, Oregon.
Flight diversion to Portland
The flight was operated by Horizon Air and had originally been scheduled to take off at 17:25 local time, arriving in San Francisco at 19:30. However, due to the gravity of the situation, the aircraft was diverted to Portland. Fortunately, the suspect was subdued without incident.
Passengers on board the flight were largely unaware of the unfolding crisis. One passenger, Aubrey Gavello, recounted that they were informed by a flight attendant that the plane needed to land immediately due to a "medical emergency." Ms. Gavello initially believed it was a serious health issue, emphasizing the professional handling of the situation.
Statement from Alaska Airlines
The flight eventually took off from Portland and continued to its intended destination. Alaska Airlines confirmed that all passengers who were on the initial flight were able to travel on a later flight, expressing gratitude for the calm and patience exhibited by their guests.
The incident is now under investigation by the Port of Portland Police Department and the FBI. Both agencies are working to determine the motivations behind this alarming act. In a statement, the FBI assured the public that there is no ongoing threat related to this incident.
Pilot charged with attempted murder and reckless endangerment
In addition to the 83 counts of attempted murder, Joseph Emerson faces charges of reckless endangerment and endangering an aircraft. He is currently in custody at the Multnomah County Detention Center as the investigation continues, and his arraignment date is yet to be determined.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) also moved to clarify that the incident had no connection to current world events, ensuring the safety and security of air travel. The disturbing incident on the Alaska Airlines flight has raised concerns about the mental health and motivations of individuals in sensitive positions within the aviation industry.
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