Unsuspecting people on their way to Hawaii witnessed quite a scary scene when a passenger allegedly tried to make his way though First Class and enter the cockpit but was immediately subdued by passengers who then taped him to his seat.
The passenger is a Turkish national who currently resides in the U.S. on a student visa and wad actually arrested the same day (Friday) at LAX Airport for breaching a door that lead to the tarmac yet he was set free again.
Irate passengers are always dangerous as they scare other people and can easily cause injury or damages in the cabin due to the small dimensions of the aircraft.
USA Today had a story on it this weekend (see here).
A “disheveled” Turkish student could face federal charges for purportedly trying to enter the cockpit of a Hawaii-bound flight until he was grabbed by passengers and duct-taped to a seat.
The threat of terrorism prompted authorities to scramble two Hawaii Air National Guard F-22 Raptor fighter jets to escort the airliner on the last leg of its trip to Hawaii on Friday.
American Airlines Flight 31, with 181 passengers and six crew members aboard, landed safely in Honolulu at 11:35 a.m. …
The man, described by passenger Donna Basden as a “disheveled looking fellow,” initially tried to sit in the first-class section with his laptop until a flight attendant looked at his ticket and instructed him to go to economy class.
Halfway through the six-hour flight from Los Angeles, Uskanil reappeared in first class holding the laptop and appeared to be trying to reach the cockpit, according to passenger Grant Arakelian. …
Passengers then stood up and helped restrain him in a seat.
“It took seconds,” Lorenzen told Hawaii News Now. “He was pushing against the cart and a bunch of guys grabbed him. They found some duct tape. There were pillows and blankets. And they taped him to his chair.”
Uskanil had been arrested earlier before boarding the flight at Los Angeles International Airport for opening a door that led onto an airfield ramp, according to Los Angeles Airport Police.
From this recount it sounds like something between an attempted self upgrade and a crazy person. Did the guy reach the cockpit door or not? Otherwise it’s really hard to imply his intentions running around with a laptop in hand.
In any case the remainder of his flight was anything but comfortable being confined to his seat with the added discomfort of duct tape around him.
The other question that needs to be answered is what caused this guy to breach the door leading to the tarmac at LAX. He was given a date to appear in court on suspicion of misdemeanor trespassing and allowed to board.
The American Airlines flight was eventually escorted by fighter jets to Hawaii.
The very last thing people need in this current hysteria about laptop security is some guy such as this running around on a flight with a laptop in hand, appearing to try gaining access to the cockpit. On the other hand this doesn’t sound very professional or well planned. I’d love to see actual evidence what really transpired on board the aircraft.