Passengers aboard a flight that a pilot allegedly ‘attempted to wreck’ have detailed their horrific experience on board.
The plane was supposed to fly from Everett, Washington, to San Francisco, with off-duty pilot Joseph Emerson in the cockpit.
According to officials, Emerson was going to San Francisco to connect for a job flying a 737 there.
However, as the plane was flying at 35,000 feet, Emerson allegedly grabbed for the controls and attempted to activate the fire extinguisher systems.
Fortunately for the 83 passengers on board, he failed in his apparent effort.
Passengers have already revealed their experiences aboard the plane, and it was far from chaotic as you might expect.
In fact, one passenger stated that they had no idea how serious the incident was until they arrived.
Aubrey Gavello said in an interview with ABC News: “We didn’t know anything was happening until a flight attendant got on the loudspeaker and made an announcement that there was a medical emergency and the plane needed to land immediately. …”She returned around 15 minutes later and stated that there was a medical emergency.”
Additionally, fellow passenger Alex Wood stated that the crew had explained that “there was a disturbance in the cockpit.”
The plane was redirected to Portland, Oregon, where Emerson was removed off the trip.
A flight attendant, according to Gavello, told Emerson, “We’re going to be fine, it’s OK, we’ll get you off the plane.”
“It was very competent, handled very calmly, and we didn’t really know what was going on until we landed.” Wood stated.
Wood reported that once everyone was secure, workers were eager to educate passengers about what occurred.
“After we landed and the gentleman was escorted off, the flight attendant got back on the speaker and simply said, ‘He had a mental breakdown,” he recalled. We needed to get him off the plane as soon as possible.”
Emerson now faces 83 counts of attempted murder, 83 counts of reckless endangerment, and one act of endangering an aircraft.
Concerning the incident, the Federal Aviation Administration stated on October 23 that it was ‘not connected in any manner shape or form to current international events’.
Alaska Airlines also confirmed that the plane’s power was never lost and that all passengers and crew arrived safely.
“All passengers on board were able to catch another on a later flight,” claimed the airline.
“We are grateful for the professional handling of the circumstances by the Horizon flight crew and admire our guests’ calm and patience throughout this event.”
Elsewhere, the airline stated that “the event is being investigated by law enforcement authorities,” while the FBI stated that “there is no continuing threat related to this incident.”
UNILAD has reached out to Alaska Airlines for additional information.