PORTLAND, Ore. (TCD) — A 44-year-old off-duty pilot was arrested on over 160 charges after he allegedly attempted to cut power to the plane’s engines midflight and was deemed a legitimate security risk.
According to a statement, the incident occurred Sunday, Oct. 22, on a Horizon Airlines flight operated by Alaska Airlines from Everett, Washington, to San Francisco. Officials “reported a credible security threat” about an off-duty pilot who was on the flight sitting in a flight deck jump seat.
The off-duty pilot, who KOIN-TV reports was identified as Joseph Emerson, allegedly “unsuccessfully attempted to disrupt the operation of the engines.” The flight’s captain and first officer thwarted Emerson’s plan, and Alaska Airlines said the plane never lost engine power and that “crew secured the aircraft without incident.”
Air traffic control rerouted the flight to make an emergency landing at the Portland International Airport, where Emerson was taken into custody. Multnomah County Jail records show Emerson was booked on 83 counts of attempted murder, 83 counts of reckless endangerment, and one count of endangering aircraft.
Alaska Airlines noted all passengers were able to travel on a later flight.