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An Off-Duty Alaska Airlines Pilot Was Flying In The Jump Seat Yesterday And Attempted To Shut Down The Jet’s Engines Mid-Flight - Now Being Charged With 83 Counts Of Attempted Murder

Justin Sullivan. Getty Images.

Daily Mail

An off-duty pilot accused of trying to shut off the engines on a packed-out Alaska Airlines passenger jet on Sunday has been charged with 83 counts of attempted murder. 

Joseph David Emerson, 44, faces the litany of homicide charges along with an additional 83 counts of reckless endangerment and one count of endangering an aircraft, police documents show.  Live Air Traffic audio appears to show a pilot describing the person believed to be Emerson 'subdued' after the incident, suggesting there was a struggle.  

'We've got the guy that tried to shut the engines down out of the cockpit and he doesn't sound like he's causing any issue in the back right now, I think he's subdued,' a pilot told air traffic controllers, according to audio recorded by Live ATC. 

Yeah can't do that. I'm going to take a sad educated guess that this guy was very depressed and looking to end his life. Obviously feel for anyone dealing with that kind of mental illness, but when you decide to take 83 innocent souls with you? Straight to hell. Thank god the rest of the crew was able to subdue him and maintain control of the plane. Jail forever, throw away the key. 166 felonies feels like enough. And you thought you were having a bad Monday. 

This does make me think about how we fly all the time and never have any idea what's going on in the cockpit. In this case it was for the best. In other less severe situations I'd love to know how calm the pilots are being. If we're flying through a rough patch of air or even a storm it would help my nerves immensely if I could get a quick look at the pilots having a good laugh or playing a game of cards. Obviously this instance would be bad. Imagine you're just watching the feed and then all of a sudden the dude in the jump seat loses his mind and pulls both engine levers to shutdown the plane mid-flight? Yeah, I can see why we don't get the feed. 

P.S. Gotta wonder what the passengers got as an "I'm sorry" gift for almost dying. Maybe free TVs on the next flight? Nah, pretty sure Alaska doesn't even possess that technology yet. My guess would be $50 off their next flight and a hilarious plea to continue using their airline.