Everett-San Fran Flight Lands in Portland with Criminal Charges
In what was supposed to be a routine flight from Paine Field in Everett to San Francisco International Airport became anything but yesterday afternoon. The end result was a harrowing experience that ended in close to 200 criminal charges.
The Alaska Airlines Flight 2059, operated by Horizon Air, took off from Everett a little after 5pm on a non-stop flight to San Francisco with an estimated arrival not long after 7pm. It is a regularly scheduled flight between the two cities. An unanticipated layover in Portland happened at 6:25 pm because of the actions of one individual.
Who Caused the Diversion?
A 'credible security threat' was reported that involved off duty Alaska Airlines pilot Joseph David Emerson. Emerson was sitting in the cockpit in the flight deck jump seat. The jump seat is an auxiliary seat for company personnel, authorities and to authorized pilots of other airlines who will not be operating the aircraft.
Emerson was hitching a ride aboard the Embraer E-175 regional jet, which is not uncommon when attempting to return to your home airport. We haven't seen confirmation that Emerson is from the San Francisco area, or California for that matter, so it is unknown if he was returning home or just taking advantage of the opportunity.
What Did Emerson Do?
In a statement provided to me by Alaska Airlines, they said Emerson:
" unsuccessfully attempted to disrupt the operation of the engines. The Horizon Captain and First Officer quickly responded, engine power was not lost and the crew secured the aircraft without incident."
In short...Emerson tried to turn off the planes engines in mid flight sometime after take off.
"Following appropriate FAA procedures and guidance from Air Traffic Control, the flight was safely diverted to Portland International Airport."
Emerson was subdued until the plane safely landed. At that time Port of Portland Police responded and took Emerson into custody.
What Charges is He Facing?
Considering he tried to shut off the engines of an airborne plane... alot. According to Multnomah County Sheriff's Office online jail record, Emerson is facing 83 counts of Attempted Murder I (Class A Felony), 83 counts of Reckless Endangerment (Class A Misdemeanor), and one count of endangering an aircraft (Class C Felony). Emerson is currently being held in the Multnomah County Department of Corrections without bail.
a maximum of 622.5 years
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