Chilling audio captures moment off-duty pilot who allegedly tried to crash plane is detained

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By James Kay

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Following the arrest of an off-duty pilot who allegedly attempted to crash a plane, an audio recording has been released that captured the chilling moment.

As previously reported, 44-year-old Joseph David Emerson, an off-duty pilot, has been charged with a staggering 83 counts of attempted murder after allegedly attempting to crash the aircraft, per BBC News.

The harrowing event occurred on an Alaska Airlines flight en route from Everett, Washington, to San Francisco, California, with 80 passengers on board.

Emerson was sat in the cockpit, positioned behind the captain and the first officer, according to an official statement released by the airline.

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The incident unfolded on an Alaska Airlines flight. Credit: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency/Getty

Quick-thinking from the airline's crew played a critical role in preventing a catastrophe. The crew recognized the gravity of the situation and reportedly managed to subdue the suspect without further incident. In response to the disturbance, the flight was diverted to Portland, Oregon.

Alaska Airlines disclosed that the off-duty pilot was occupying the flight deck jump seat when he made an "unsuccessful attempt to disrupt the operation of the engines."

Following his arrest, the audio files of the pilot speaking to air traffic control have been released, and he appears to be calm despite going through what could have been a fatal ordeal.

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

Passengers on board were initially unaware of the gravity of the situation. The flight attendant announced the need for an immediate landing, citing a "medical emergency."

Many passengers, including Aubrey Gavello, believed it was a medical issue, and the flight attendant tried to reassure the suspect, saying: "We're going to be fine, it's OK, we'll get you off the plane."

The professional and composed response from the airline staff left passengers none the wiser about the true nature of the incident.

In a statement, Alaska Airlines expressed gratitude for the professionalism of the Horizon flight crew and commended the patience displayed by the passengers during the ordeal. The airline assured that all passengers were able to travel on a later flight.

The investigation into this unsettling incident is now in the hands of the Port of Portland Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), as confirmed by Alaska Airlines. The FBI has also issued a statement, reassuring the traveling public that there is no ongoing threat related to the incident.

In addition to the 83 counts of attempted murder, Emerson faces 83 counts of reckless endangerment and one count of endangering an aircraft. He is currently detained at the Multnomah County Detention Center as the investigation unfolds, with the timing of his arraignment still uncertain.

Featured image credit: AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/Getty

Chilling audio captures moment off-duty pilot who allegedly tried to crash plane is detained

vt-author-image

By James Kay

Article saved!Article saved!

Following the arrest of an off-duty pilot who allegedly attempted to crash a plane, an audio recording has been released that captured the chilling moment.

As previously reported, 44-year-old Joseph David Emerson, an off-duty pilot, has been charged with a staggering 83 counts of attempted murder after allegedly attempting to crash the aircraft, per BBC News.

The harrowing event occurred on an Alaska Airlines flight en route from Everett, Washington, to San Francisco, California, with 80 passengers on board.

Emerson was sat in the cockpit, positioned behind the captain and the first officer, according to an official statement released by the airline.

size-full wp-image-1263233883
The incident unfolded on an Alaska Airlines flight. Credit: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency/Getty

Quick-thinking from the airline's crew played a critical role in preventing a catastrophe. The crew recognized the gravity of the situation and reportedly managed to subdue the suspect without further incident. In response to the disturbance, the flight was diverted to Portland, Oregon.

Alaska Airlines disclosed that the off-duty pilot was occupying the flight deck jump seat when he made an "unsuccessful attempt to disrupt the operation of the engines."

Following his arrest, the audio files of the pilot speaking to air traffic control have been released, and he appears to be calm despite going through what could have been a fatal ordeal.

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

Passengers on board were initially unaware of the gravity of the situation. The flight attendant announced the need for an immediate landing, citing a "medical emergency."

Many passengers, including Aubrey Gavello, believed it was a medical issue, and the flight attendant tried to reassure the suspect, saying: "We're going to be fine, it's OK, we'll get you off the plane."

The professional and composed response from the airline staff left passengers none the wiser about the true nature of the incident.

In a statement, Alaska Airlines expressed gratitude for the professionalism of the Horizon flight crew and commended the patience displayed by the passengers during the ordeal. The airline assured that all passengers were able to travel on a later flight.

The investigation into this unsettling incident is now in the hands of the Port of Portland Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), as confirmed by Alaska Airlines. The FBI has also issued a statement, reassuring the traveling public that there is no ongoing threat related to the incident.

In addition to the 83 counts of attempted murder, Emerson faces 83 counts of reckless endangerment and one count of endangering an aircraft. He is currently detained at the Multnomah County Detention Center as the investigation unfolds, with the timing of his arraignment still uncertain.

Featured image credit: AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/Getty