United Airlines Flight Forced To Turn Around After Passenger Reportedly Makes Run For Cockpit Door

A United Airways flight bound for Denver was forced to turn back to Washington Dulles Airport after a passenger reportedly made a rush for the cockpit door, and had to be restrained. An airline spokesman says the passenger “failed to comply with crew instructions” last night.

According to audio of air traffic control transmissions from LiveATC.net (via USA Today), the pilot alerted controllers to the troublesome passenger.

“We had a passenger becoming violent. No weapons involved. He’s restrained by other passengers now, though,” the pilot says in the recording. “We don’t know his mental health condition. Sounds like he’s restrained for now. We just need to get on the ground.”

The pilot says he ran towards the cockpit, but that the cockpit was secure and the crew wanted to return to the airport to have authorities deal with him, reports FOX 31 Denver.

One passenger said two men grabbed the unruly man and held him to the floor.

“One held his feet and the other one kind of laid on top of him and then the flight attendants went and got some plastic restraints for his arms,” she told FOX 31. “At one point when his head was down he said there were jihadists in the cargo hold and he did say jihad a couple times.”

A phone video uploaded to YouTube shows the man being held down by his fellow passengers, as one tries to reassure him while he struggles.

“Don’t move,” the other passenger says. “You’re okay. We’re going to get you off this plane, buddy.”

The plane landed back at Dulles around 10:40 last night, a spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority said, adding that no passengers were injured and there were no weapons found.

“A passenger was removed from the plane and transported to a local hospital for evaluation,” she said.

Though the plane went on to Denver, no passengers were on it as the flight attendants reportedly didn’t want to fly after the incident. Travelers instead will be on Denver-bound flights this morning, United said.

‘Violent’ passenger forces flight to return to Dulles [USA Today]
Denver-bound United Airlines flight turns around after passenger reportedly runs toward cockpit [FOX 31]