An off-duty Alaska Airlines pilot has found himself in hot water after being charged with 83 counts of attempted murder. The 44-year-old pilot, Joseph D. Emerson, was arrested and booked in Multnomah County, Oregon, following allegations that he tried to shut off the engines of a sister airline’s plane mid-flight.
An off-duty Alaska Airlines pilot has been charged with 83 counts of attempted murder after allegedly attempting to shut off the engines of a Horizon Airlines flight. The quick response of the flight crew prevented any harm to the passengers and the aircraft. The motive behind the pilot’s actions remains unknown.
The Alleged Incident
The incident occurred when Emerson, an Alaska Airlines employee, was onboard a Horizon Airlines flight from Seattle to San Francisco. However, the flight had to be diverted to Portland due to the alleged actions of Emerson. Crew members on the flight reported that while occupying the cockpit’s jump seat, Emerson attempted to shut off the aircraft’s engines, endangering the lives of all on board.
Fortunately, the captain and first officer were able to restrain Emerson and prevent any harm to the passengers and the plane. Air Traffic Control audio recordings captured crew members discussing the situation and requesting law enforcement to be present upon landing.
Joseph D. Emerson now faces a multitude of charges. Alongside the 83 counts of attempted murder, he has been charged with 83 counts of reckless endangerment and endangering an aircraft. The authorities have not disclosed any information regarding the motive behind Emerson’s actions.
The Swift Response
Alaska Airlines commended the quick actions of the Horizon Airlines team for their role in averting a potential disaster. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has stated that this incident is not connected to any global events, ruling out any links to the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict.