Pilot Tries to Crash Plane By Cutting Engines

(Cupventi.com) – An off-duty pilot from Alaska Airlines, Captain Joseph Emerson, entered a not guilty plea to various charges following an alleged attempt to deactivate a plane’s engine during a flight from Everett, Washington, to San Francisco. The incident occurred on Alaska Airlines Flight 2059, operated by Horizon Air, both entities owned by Alaska Air Group.

Emerson, 44, faced state-level charges, including 83 counts of attempted murder, 83 counts of reckless endangerment, and one count of endangering an aircraft, during his appearance in a Multnomah County, Oregon courtroom. Additionally, he is charged federally for interfering with flight crew members and attendants.

The airline reported that Emerson, while seated in the flight deck jump seat, unsuccessfully attempted to disrupt the engine operation by engaging the fire suppression system. Alaska Airlines clarified that the crew’s swift reaction prevented the loss of engine power.

In his statement to law enforcement, Emerson mentioned not taking medication but admitted to feeling depressed and consuming psychedelic mushrooms for the first time. He claimed to be experiencing a “nervous breakdown” after 40 hours without sleep when he tried to shut down the plane’s engine.

Alaska Airlines emphasized that Emerson has been removed from service indefinitely and relieved of all duties. The airline’s spokesperson referred to a statement indicating that the flight crew’s actions align with the details in the Department of Justice affidavit.

The crew confirmed that Emerson was escorted to the rear of the aircraft, where he was secured in wrist restraints and belted into the aft jump seat. It was also noted that Emerson attempted to access the emergency exit handle during the aircraft’s descent, prompting intervention by a Flight Attendant.

The airline is consulting with labor partners regarding Emerson’s employment status, following the guidelines of the pilots’ collective bargaining agreement.