Off duty Alaska Airlines pilot charged with 83 counts of attempted murder

In a statement, Alaska Airlines said the off-duty pilot was travelling in the flight deck jump seat, when he “unsuccessfully attempted to disrupt the operation of the engines”.i

An off-duty pilot has been charged with 83 counts of attempted murder, after he allegedly tried to crash a passenger jet during a flight on Sunday night. The suspect, Joseph David Emerson, 44, was sitting in the cockpit of an Alaska Airlines flight behind the captain and the first-officer, according to an airline statement. 

In addition to the attempted murder charges, Mr Emerson also faces 83 counts of reckless endangerment and one count of endangering an aircraft. He was lodged at Multnomah County Detention Center while the investigation continues. Updates to follow.

The flight was on its way from Everett, Washington, to San Francisco, California, with 80 passengers aboard.

According to the BBC: “In a statement, the FBI confirmed it was investigating and said it “can assure the traveling public there is no continuing threat related to this incident”. 

On Monday, the Federal Aviation Administration sent guidance to US air carriers that the incident was “not connected in any way shape or form to current world events”.

Passenger Aubrey Gavello told ABC News that those on board did not know anything was wrong with the flight until the flight attendant announced that the plane needed to land immediately, later citing a medical emergency.

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