July 24th, 2024

Pilot who police say tried to cut the engines on a jet midflight now faces a federal charge

By The Associated Press on October 24, 2023.

A San Francisco-bound jet was diverted to Portland after the crew says an off-duty pilot riding in a spare cockpit seat tried to shut down the plane's engines. (AP Digital Embed)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – An off-duty Alaska Airlines pilot who police say tried to cut the engines on a jet midflight was charged Tuesday with a federal count of interfering with a flight crew.

Joseph David Emerson, 44, of Pleasant Hill, California, was initially arrested in Oregon on Sunday night on state counts of attempted murder after the flight crew reported that he attempted to shut down the engines on a Horizon Air flight from Washington state to California while riding in the extra seat in the cockpit.

The U.S. attorney’s office in Portland filed the federal charge Tuesday.

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