Alaska Airlines flight diverted, off-duty pilot arrested for trying to cut engines midflight, officials say
An Alaska Airlines flight made an emergency diversion to Portland, Oregon, on Sunday after an off-duty pilot in the cockpit unsuccessfully tried to shut down the plane’s engines midflight, according to officials and a source who confirmed details to CBS News’ Kris Van Cleave. A suspect, identified as Joseph Emerson, was taken into custody by police and charged with attempted murder after the plane landed safely at Portland’s airport, officials confirmed to CBS News.
According to online jail records from the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, Emerson, 44, is facing multiple charges including 83 counts of attempted murder.
An air traffic control recording during the incident captured the pilot saying, “We’ve got the guy that tried to shut the engines down out of the cockpit.”
Emerson, who according to jail records is 6 feet, 1 inch tall and weighs 210 pounds, was arrested on state charges. The FBI said it was also investigating the incident.
“There is no continuing threat related to this incident,” the FBI’s field office in Portland said in the statement.