By DAVID KOENIG | AP Airways Author
A pilot has been indicted for allegedly threatening to shoot the aircraft’s captain if the captain diverted the flight due to a passenger who wanted medical consideration.
A grand jury in Utah issued the indictment in opposition to Jonathan J. Dunn on Oct. 18 over an incident that occurred in August 2022, charging him with interference with a flight crew, based on federal court docket information.
The Transportation Division’s inspector normal’s workplace stated in an e mail despatched Tuesday that Dunn was the primary officer, or co-pilot, on the flight and was licensed to hold a gun beneath a program run by the Transportation Safety Administration.
“After a disagreement a couple of potential flight diversion as a consequence of a passenger medical occasion, Dunn informed the Captain they’d be shot a number of occasions if the Captain diverted the flight,” the inspector normal’s workplace stated.
The inspector normal described Dunn as a California pilot. It didn’t establish the airline on which the incident occurred, saying solely that it was a industrial airline flight. The workplace didn’t give the flight’s meant route, or whether or not it was diverted.
The inspector normal stated it was working with the FBI and the Federal Aviation Administration on the investigation.
The 2-page indictment in federal district court docket in Utah says solely that Dunn “did use a harmful weapon in assaulting and intimidating the crew member.” It didn’t point out the airline both, and the U.S. Legal professional’s Workplace in Salt Lake Metropolis declined to remark past the knowledge within the indictment.
Interference with a flight crew is a felony punishable by as much as 20 years in jail.
An arraignment is scheduled for Nov. 16.
The pilot’s indictment got here just some days earlier than an off-duty Alaska Airways pilot driving within the cockpit bounce seat tried to close down the engines of a Horizon Air jet in midflight. He was subdued by the captain and co-pilot and arrested after the aircraft diverted to Portland, Oregon.
Joseph David Emerson of Nice Hill, California, informed police he was affected by melancholy and had taken psychedelic mushrooms 48 hours earlier than the flight. He pleaded not responsible in state court docket in Portland to expenses of tried homicide.
That incident revived debate about how pilots are screened for psychological well being — largely by trusting that they’ll volunteer info that would elevate security issues. Pilots are required throughout common medical exams to reveal melancholy, nervousness, drug or alcohol dependence, and medicines they take.