US Air Force fighter jets escorted an American Airlines plane into Hawaii after a passenger disturbance
US Air Force fighter jets escorted an American Airlines plane into Honolulu, Hawaii, on Friday after a passenger disturbance on the flight.
The FBI did not immediately disclose the nature of the incident, but local CBS and NBC affiliates reported Friday that a passenger on American Airlines Flight 31 was detained after trying to breach the cockpit.
Crew members on Flight 31 and an off-duty police officer restrained the man aboard the flight which originated from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), the reports said. Flight 31 landed safely in Honolulu at 11:35 a.m. local time. No injuries were reported.
Federal authorities were preparing a criminal complaint to charge Turkish national Anil Uskanil, 25, with interference with a flight crew, FBI special-agent-in charge Paul Delacourt said at a Honolulu news conference, Reuters said.
Local news outlets said the man had "breached" security at LAX but was allowed to board the plane. It was not immediately clear what the circumstances of that breach were, but the news outlets, citing unnamed sources, said once Flight 31 departed, the man allegedly "tried to break through the cockpit door."
Delacourt, when asked by a reporter if Uskanil tried to break into the cockpit, said the Turkish man was in the aisle of the plane and it was "unclear what his motivation was."
Witnesses on Flight 31 told NBC News correspondent Gadi Schwartz that the passenger had a shirt over his head and did not make it past the first-class section of the aircraft. "Flight attendant blocked aisle, man taken down," Schwartz wrote.
American Airlines said in an emailed statement to Business Insider:
"This unfortunate incident highlights the tremendous professionalism of American’s team members, and specifically, in this situation, our flight attendants. Their decisive actions ensured the safety of everyone onboard the flight. We are proud of our crew and are grateful to them for their actions."