Tens of thousands of flights have been hampered during the pandemic by passenger behavior, bad weather and even server outages. I thought I’d heard it all until an incident in Honduras yesterday. A passenger ran into the cockpit of a plane, broke a thrust lever, then tried to jump out of a window.
We’ve seen a lot of strange events involving passengers through the pandemic. There are the passengers who beat up flight crews. There are passengers who think they are like Rosa Parks because they don’t want to wear a mask. There was even a fight that broke out over a seat pocket. Now, we have a person that broke a cockpit.
On Tuesday, American Airlines Flight 488 was boarding for its departure from Ramón Villeda Morales International Airport in San Pedro Sula, Honduras to Miami, Florida. During the boarding process, the Washington Post reports, a passenger sprinted down the jetway onto the Boeing 737-800 and right into the flight deck.
While the passenger was in there, they managed to break a thrust lever. When pilots tried to stop them, they opened up a window in the cockpit and tried to jump out.
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Eventually, the crew members were able to intervene, and authorities apprehended the passenger.
Unfortunately, the damage was done, and the flight had to be delayed while American Airlines found a replacement aircraft. The plane was supposed to depart at 2:58 p.m. local time, but the flight was pushed to 9:30 p.m. and ultimately the replacement plane didn’t push back until 10:45 p.m. that night. The flight touched down in Miami at 1:50 a.m. Wednesday, seven hours later than they were supposed to.
At this time, it’s unclear what the passenger’s motivations were. A local news report says that the passenger was allegedly upset with the flight crew before entering the cockpit. Another news report suggests that the passenger may have been under the influence as well. It’s also unclear what charges, if any, the passenger faces.
Regardless, the passenger was reportedly taken to a hospital and thankfully, there are no reports of any injuries. Just more reports of strange, strange behavior on flights.