The crew of a Horizon Air passenger jet had to subdue an off-duty pilot seated in the extra seat in the cockpit about mid-flight after he attempted to shut down the engines and had to be restrained by the crew, according to a pilot who was onboard.
Joseph David Emerson, 44 was identified as the culprit by authorities in Oregon. The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office said that he had been charged with 83 counts of attempted murder, 83 counts of reckless endangerment, and one count of endangering an aircraft on Monday.
In a statement, Alaska Airlines said that the pilot and co-pilot had swiftly responded, the engine power did not go out, and the crew safely landed the plane without incident. There was no indication that a weapon had been used by the accused to gain access to the cockpit.
During a call with air traffic control, one of the pilots told the controllers the man who posed a threat to the flight had been removed from the cockpit and placed at the back of the plane in handcuffs.
“We’ve got the guy that tried to shut the engines down out of the cockpit, and he doesn’t sound like he’s causing any issues in the back right now, and I think he’s subdued,” one of the pilots outlined in released audio.
See the report below: