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Tags: off-duty | pilot | plane | seattle | alaska airlines

Off-Duty Pilot Charged With 83 Felonies

By    |   Monday, 23 October 2023 02:00 PM EDT

An off-duty pilot traveling as a passenger in the cockpit of an Alaska Airlines flight tried to seize control of a plane headed from Seattle to San Francisco on Sunday, CNN reported.

A pilot assigned to the flight told air traffic controllers a person riding in the cockpit of flight 2059 attempted to turn the aircraft’s engines off during the flight.

Joseph Emerson, 44, has been arrested by the Port of Portland Police Department and charged with 83 felony counts of attempted murder, 83 counts of reckless endangerment, and one count of endangering an aircraft, online booking records show, CNN reported.

Emerson is an off-duty pilot who is accused of trying to seize control of the Alaska Airlines flight. The airline he works for wasn’t immediately known.

Pilots will occasionally ride a cockpit “jump seat” when traveling in an official capacity or commuting to another airport, CNN noted.

The plane took off from Seattle Paine Field International Airport and was diverted to Portland International Airport because of the “credible security threat,” the airline said.

The Embracer E-175 was full, with 80 passengers onboard, including lap infants, with two pilots flying and two flight attendants in the passenger cabin, The Seattle Times reported.

The Alaska Airlines crew “reported a credible security threat related to an authorized occupant in the flight deck jump seat,” the airline said Monday in a statement.

 “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 issues in the back right now,” the pilot relayed to Seattle-area air traffic controllers in audio recorded by LiveATC.net. “I think he’s subdued. Other than that, we want law enforcement as soon as we get on the ground and are parked.”

“Following appropriate FAA procedures and guidance from air traffic control, the flight safely diverted to Portland International Airport,” Alaska Airlines said. The flight was operated by Horizon Air, a regional carrier owned by Alaska Airlines. “The event is being investigated by law enforcement authorities.”

In a statement Monday, Alaska Air Group, the parent company of Alaska Airlines and its regional subsidiary Horizon Air, said: "The Horizon captain and first officer quickly responded; engine power was not lost; and the crew secured the aircraft without incident."

 

Peter Malbin

Peter Malbin, a Newsmax writer, covers news and politics. He has 30 years of news experience, including for the New York Times, New York Post and Newsweek.com. 

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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An off-duty pilot traveling as a passenger in the cockpit of an Alaska Airlines flight tried to seize control of a plane headed from Seattle to San Francisco on Sunday, CNN reported. A pilot assigned to the flight told air traffic controllers a person riding in the cockpit...
off-duty, pilot, plane, seattle, alaska airlines
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2023-00-23
Monday, 23 October 2023 02:00 PM
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