Well here’s a story that you don’t see every day – an off-duty Alaska Airlines pilot has been charged with 84 counts of attempted murder for trying to shut off the engines of an Alaska Airlines flight that was in midflight. Thankfully, two other pilots managed to detain and subdue him, and the plane safely diverted to Portland, Oregon, where it was met by law enforcement.
Alaska Pilot Charged With Attempted Murder
Off-duty Alaska Airlines pilot Joseph Emerson, age 44, was onboard Alaska Airlines Flight 2059, operated by Alaska’s subsidiary Horizon Air and scheduled from Everett Field in the Seattle area to San Francisco. 80 passengers and 4 crew were onboard the flight, including Emerson. Mr. Emerson was seated in the cockpit jump seat and at one point tried to “disrupt the operation of the engines.”
The Horizon captain and first officer managed to subdue and detail Emerson. An air traffic control recording during the incident captured the pilot saying, “We’ve got the guy that tried to shut the engines down out of the cockpit. The pilots were able to successfully divert the plane to Portland, Oregon. It was met by law enforcement, where Emerson is facing multiple charges including 83 counts of attempted murder. The FAA has announced that this does not appear to be related to current world events.
The Bottom Line
An off-duty Alaska Airlines pilot has been charged with 84 counts of attempted murder for trying to shut off the engines of an Alaska Airlines flight that was in midflight. He was traveling in a jump seat in the cockpit and at one point tried to disrupt the operation of the engines. The other two pilots managed to subdue him and he was met by law enforcement on the ground. Kudos to the pilots who managed to thwart the attempt and keep all 84 people safe.
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