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Man ‘tried to open’ Qantas plane door over Pacific

June 1, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

High over the Pacific Ocean, an airline passenger who had reportedly worked as an aviation mechanic approached the door of a Qantas A380, moved the lever from “armed” to “disarmed” and began trying to open the door, according to court documents in Sydney.

A report on the incident in Sydney’s Sunday Telegraph said the man, Manuel Victor Gonzalez, 49, an American, told cabin crew “I’m just anxious, I’m anxious about life.”

Gonzalez, who appeared in Sydney’s Central Local Court on 5 April 2017, pleaded guilty and was sentenced by Magistrate Michael Price to serve 12 months in jail from the date of his arrest in January, the paper reported.

Gonzalez is eligible for parole conditionally after serving six months but has appealed the sentence and the matter is due for hearing in the Sydney District Court.

The incident which led to Gonzalez’ court appearance happened in the morning of 17 January 2017 on QF12, a Qantas A380 flight from Los Angeles, about an hour before landing in Sydney.

Concerned passengers confronted Gonzalez and alerted Qantas staff, who tried to stop him from interfering with the door and later subdued him.

A Qantas duty manager told police Gonzalez had been successful in disarming the door, but the air pressure difference between inside and outside the cabin held the door firmly and safely in place, the paper reported.

The flight landed in Sydney where Australian Federal Police boarded the plane, arrested Gonzalez and charged him over the incident.

Written by Peter Needham

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