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Passengers bind mystery man to seat as fighters scramble

May 22, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Fighter jets scrambled to escort an American Airlines plane to Honolulu International Airport after an in-flight disturbance led to a man being duct-taped to his seat.

Reports said the man had already caused a disturbance at Los Angeles International Airport before take-off. He may face US federal charges.

Initial reports indicated that the man attempted to breach the cockpit door on American Airlines flight 31 from Los Angeles but witnesses aboard the flight later contradicted that, saying a flight attendant had blocked the man’s way with her drinks trolley and stopped him entering the first class section, let alone reaching the cockpit.

The flight was carrying 181 passengers and six crew. One passenger posted footage under the Instagram name BPLUS.noisefloor.dnb, adding: “Crazy! Someone tried to break into the cockpit on my flight from LA to Honolulu. We were greeted by the FBI. They are now taking us off the plane a few rows at a time for dog sniffing and interviews. I’ve never seen anything like this.”

Passengers seized the man, hauled him to the back of the plane and duct-taped him to his seat.

Hawaii News Now in Honolulu said US Pacific Command scrambled two F-22 Raptor jet fighters from the Hawaii Air National Guard, which intercepted flight AA31 and escorted it into Honolulu International Airport.

The news outlets identified the suspect as a 25-year-old Turk, visiting the US on student and tourist visas. It said that before take-off, the suspect had been sighted walking through a door that led to a runway ramp at LAX and had been detained. Police found the man had been drinking but was not drunk. They arrested him for trespassing, cited him (gave him notice to appear before court) and released him.

He then boarded the American Airlines flight.

Written by Peter Needham

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