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Off-duty pilot arrested after 'trying to crash plane' with passengers on board
Featured Image Credit: AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images / Bob Riha, Jr./Getty Images

Off-duty pilot arrested after 'trying to crash plane' with passengers on board

The off-duty pilot has been charged with attempted murder

An off-duty pilot has been arrested after being accused of trying to crash a US flight.

The Alaska Airlines flight was carrying 83 passengers onboard during the flight on Sunday night (October 22).

The suspect was reportedly sat in the cockpit behind the captain and first-officer at the time.

The flight was on its way from Everett, Washington, to San Francisco, California.

An off-duty pilot allegedly tried to crash an Alaska Airlines flight.
AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

The suspect has since been named as 44-year-old Joseph David Emerson.

It's unclear if the off-duty pilot works for Alaska Airlines himself.

In a statement fro the airline, it claimed that the Emerson 'unsuccessfully attempted to disrupt the operation of the engines'.

The crew on the Alaska Airlines Flight 2059 then reported the incident to air traffic control.

In audio recorded by, the pilot said to Seattle-area air traffic controllers: "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.

"I think he’s subdued. Other than that, we want law enforcement as soon as we get on the ground and are parked.”

The flight was diverted to Portland International Airport.

The flight, operated by Horizon Air, was scheduled to take off at 5.25pm, and arrive in San Francisco at 7.30pm.

But upon Emerson's alleged attempt at crashing the plane, the flight was diverted to Portland International Airport.

It then took off from Portland at 7.18pm in a bid to reach its final destination of San Francisco.

Alaska Airlines have issued a statement in the wake of the scary ordeal.

"All passengers on board were able to travel on a later flight," it said.

"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."

Elsewhere the airline said that 'the event is being investigated by law enforcement authorities'.

With this in mind, the FBI has assured the public that 'there is no continuing threat related to this incident'.

The FBI said there's 'no continuing threat'.

Elsewhere, the Federal Aviation Administration has assured airlines in a notice issued today (October 23) that the ongoing case 'is not connected in any way, shape or form to current world events'.

Emerson was arrested by the Port of Portland Police Department and charged with 83 counts of attempted murder.

He's also been charged with 83 counts of reckless endangerment and one count of endangering an aircraft, as per BBC News.

Fortunately, no injures have been reported.

Topics: News, US News, Alaska