An Alaska Airlines flight leaving San Francisco was diverted to Portland, Oregon, after a passenger – a former company pilot – entered the cabin and threatened to turn off the plane’s engines.
The airline published a statement confirming the rerouting of flight 2059, operated by Horizon Air from the city of Everett in Washington due to “a credible security threat” while it was 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 subdue the individual and remove him from the control table.
“He warned them. We have the guy who tried to turn off the engines,” the pilot told the FAA in the recording published by LiveATC. “It doesn’t seem to be causing any problems at 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 has reported that it is an off-duty pilot for the same airline.