The crew was able to subdue the 44-year-old man, who faces charges of 83 attempted murders.
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An Alaska Airlines flight from San Francisco was diverted to Portland, Oregon after a passenger – a former company pilot – entered the cabin and threatened to shut down the plane’s engines.
The airline released a statement confirming the redirection of flight 2059, operated by Horizon Air from the city of Everett in Washington due to “a credible security threat” while flying.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reported to the airlines, in a statement seen by Reuters, that an individual tried to turn off the aircraft’s engines by activating the anti-fire system. The agency also added that the crew was able to lower the individual and remove him from the control table.
“I warned them. We had a guy trying to shut down the engines,” the pilot told the FAA in the recording published by LiveATC. “It doesn’t seem to cause any problems in the back. I think it’s reduced…” the pilot continued.
The 44-year-old man has been charged with 83 counts of attempted murder and endangering an aircraft, according to Multnomah County police. Even the Seattle Times reported that it was an off-duty pilot for the same airline.
However, the FAA wanted to reassure the rest of the airlines in another statement in which it assured that the incident “has no connection to current world events”, referring to the conflict between Israel and Hamas.