Flight Makes Emergency Landing After Passenger Rushes Cockpit, Yells 'Jihad'
A United Airlines flight bound for Denver had to make a U-turn in mid-air and return to Washington, D.C. just 15 minutes after takeoff after an unruly passenger tried to rush the cockpit.
A United spokesman said that Flight 1074, which was carrying 33 passengers and six crew members, returned to Dulles International Airport "after a passenger failed to comply with crew instructions."
According to LiveATC.net, which provides audio of air traffic control transmissions, the pilots told air traffic controllers that the passenger started acting violently but was subdued by other passengers.
“He ran forward towards the cockpit, and he is being restrained by passengers,” one of the pilots said. “Cockpit is secure, and we would like to return to the airport and have the authorities meet him.”
Donna Tellam, a passenger on the flight, said that the man made a break for the cockpit, but two men grabbed him and held him down.
"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,” Tellam explained. "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 cell phone video that has surfaced appears to show the man being held down by other passengers while they wait for authorities to arrive (watch below).
No passengers were injured in the scary incident and no weapons or explosives were found.
United said the rest of the passengers will be flown to Denver on Tuesday.
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