Passenger Arrested After Breaking Into Cockpit, Damaging Plane, And Forcing Everyone To Change Flights


Passenger Arrested After Breaking Into Cockpit, Damaging Plane, And Forcing Everyone To Change FlightsAlamy

More than 120 plane passengers were forced to abandon their flight before takeoff after a man broke into the cockpit and caused damage to the plane. 

Local authorities arrested the unnamed passenger for entering the cockpit of the American Airlines plane while it was boarding in Honduras on Tuesday, January 11.


The man is said to have run down the jetway as passengers took their seats for the flight to Miami before entering the cockpit and damaging flight controls ahead of the flight’s intended departure just before 3.00pm local time.

According to ABC News journalist Sam Sweeney, the man then attempted to jump out of an open window as pilots tried to stop him.

After Sweeney shared the news on Twitter, another user responded with a video showing a man leaning out of the cockpit window of an American Airlines plane. He appears to be speaking to people on the ground before staff members run over and begin to gesture up towards the plane.


In a statement cited by The Hill, American Airlines said:

A customer entered the open flight deck and caused damage to the aircraft. Crew members intervened and the individual was ultimately apprehended by local law enforcement.

Another image shared online appears to show the damage to the Boeing 737-800 caused by the man, with one lever in the cockpit tilted at a seemingly incorrect angle.


There were no reports of injury as a result of the disruption, but the damaged aircraft was grounded at Ramon Villeda Morales International Airport in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

Six crew members and 121 passengers were forced to change flights, with a replacement plane sent to Honduras scheduled to depart at 9.30pm Tuesday evening, the Washington Post reports.

Passengers experienced a lengthy delay from their original flight as the replacement plane ultimately departed at 10.45pm and landed at 1.50am on Wednesday, more than seven hours after the original scheduled arrival time.

American Airlines. (Alamy)Alamy

In its statement, the airline said: ‘We applaud our outstanding crew members for their professionalism in handling a difficult situation.’

The American Airlines flight from Honduras to Miami is reportedly scheduled to depart about once a day.

News of disruption on flights has become increasingly common over the last couple of years as passengers protest rules brought into place following the COVID-19 outbreak, with crews forced to remove passengers or restrain them for failing to wear face masks.


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Topics: News, American Airlines, miami


  1. @SweeneyABC/Twitter


Emily Brown
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