Disoriented Passenger Trying To Open Door During Flight Prompts Emergency Landing

Perhaps it’s just a coincidence lately, but there seems to be an uptick in instances where people aboard planes — whether pilot, flight attendant or passenger — have disruptive episodes mid-flight. This latest brouhaha prompted a Philadelphia flight bound for Portland to make an emergency landing in Boston, after a passenger became unruly.

Unruly, and how: the Boston Herald says a male passenger tried to open an emergency door during a regional Air Wisconsin flight carrying 50 passengers. The “disoriented” man was restrained on the flight while it was being diverted, and was taken into custody by state police upon the emergency landing in Boston.

Passengers told the paper that the man got up from his seat and walked the few feet to the plane’s side emergency door, and pulled on one of the latches that opens the door. Passengers yelled to alert the flight attendant.

“I screamed. He was very unresponsive,” said one passenger, describing the man as “disoriented.”

“He didn’t know where he was. He was just talking in complete randomness. His eyes were very wide open,” she added.

A police statement says crew members prevented the man from continuing his efforts, and the captain declared an emergency, diverting the flight to Boston. The 40-year-old man was charged with interfering with a flight crew, state police said.

Passenger in custody after Philly flight diverted to Boston [Boston Herald]