This is a story that came out earlier and more information has since come out about a Horizon Air pilot (a subsidiary of Alaska Airlines) who tried to shut down the engines during flight. Here is what we know so far.
Pilot Tried to Shut Down Engines
On Sunday, Horizon Air flight 2059 was flying from Everett to San Francisco. There was an off-duty pilot, Joseph David Emerson, who was in the jump seat (a seat in the cockpit reserved for crew or other authorized people – like FCC or NTSB – who are not operating the aircraft).
The plane ended up diverting to Portland, safely, after Emerson tried to shut down the engines. You can go to this ATC recording and queue it up to 10:56 to hear the pilot telling the controllers that the pilot was subdued and in the back. He requested law enforcement to be ready when they landed.
Upon landing, Emerson was arrested and, according to this page on the sheriff’s office website, he was booked at 4:11AM on October 23 and charged with 83 counts of attempted murder (an A felony), 83 counts of reckless endangerment (an A misdemeanor), and one count of endangering an aircraft (a C felony). (HT: xJonNYC)
Alaska Airlines flight AS2059 to San Francisco lands safely after a jumpseat passenger tried to shut down both of the engines. pic.twitter.com/bMHequskAO
— Breaking Aviation News & Videos (@aviationbrk) October 23, 2023
In a statement given by Alaska Air Group, they said: “The crew secured the aircraft without incident. All passengers on board were able to travel on a later flight. We are grateful for the professional handling of the situation by the Horizon flight crew and appreciate our guests’ calm and patience throughout this event.”
Well done, indeed, to the crew onboard in being able to take care of this in-flight. We always hear the flight attendants saying that they are there primarily for our safety and this is likely one of the safety threats that most never anticipate. I cannot imagine what it must have been like for the pilots to have a threat like this inside the cockpit from a supposedly trusted co-worker.
At the same time, I am incredibly grateful that this pilot wasn’t flying a craft himself when this happened.