Entries in Cockpit (2)


Man Arrested for Locking Himself in American Airlines Cockpit

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(BATON ROUGE, La.) - A man who Wednesday locked himself inside an American Eagle plane cockpit in Baton Rouge, La., surrendered to authorities and was in police custody, law enforcement sources told ABC News.

The man was identified as Andrew Alessi by the Baton Rouge police. He will likely be charged with interfering with a flight crew, according to a federal law enforcement source.

American Eagle Airlines is a regional partner of American Airlines.

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Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport Chief of Airport Security Anthony Williams said that the aircraft was in the process of a turnaround, having just flown in from Dallas, when the man got on the plane.

"It had been cleared of passengers," Williams said at a news briefing. "No passengers were ever in danger and they were in the process of clearing the plane and doing their final security walk-through. And what apparently happened, the gentleman in question pushed past the gate agent who was at the gate and ran down the jet bridge."

Another American Airlines employee "challenged" Alessi at the entrance of the plane, but Alessi got past him and locked himself in the cockpit. Williams said the cockpit is "virtually impregnable" once it is locked from the inside.

The plane was immobilized and Alessi did not know how to fly a plane, according to a spokesman for the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport.

The plane was quickly disabled by disconnecting the external power so that there would have been no way to start the plane. The aircraft also remained attached to the push-back vehicle, the spokesman said.

Alessi was reportedly upset about a personal situation.

American Airlines personnel immediately notified airport police, and a SWAT team from the Baton Rouge Police Department negotiated with the man and got him out of the cockpit and off the plane. The negotiation lasted between two to three hours, according to Baton Rouge Airport spokesman Jim Caldwell.

The FBI and ATF were on-scene to assist.

Alessi was a ticketed passenger and had cleared security. He had no weapons.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Pilot's Bathroom Break Triggers Terror Scare

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A pilot on a New York-bound Delta Air Lines flight from Asheville, N.C., became stuck in the airplane’s lavatory Wednesday night as the aircraft approached LaGuardia Airport – and when a passenger with “a thick foreign accent” tried to alert the co-pilot of the situation, ABC News has learned that fighter jets were nearly scrambled.

“The captain has disappeared in the back and I have someone with a thick, foreign accent trying to access the cockpit right now,” the plane’s co-pilot reported to air traffic controllers around 7 p.m., according to

Trapped by a faulty latch on the bathroom door, the pilot apparently got the attention of a passenger, whom he provided the cockpit security code -- a passcode designed to tell cockpit occupants that it is safe to open the secure door.

“What I'm being told is he is stuck in the lav and someone with a thick foreign accent is giving me a password to access the cockpit,” the co-pilot said, “and I'm not about to let him in.”

The exchange took place over a period of about 15 minutes before the plane indicated to LaGuardia's tower that the situation had been resolved. It was during that time, ABC News has learned, that fighter jets were nearly scrambled to the skies.

The flight, Delta 6132, operated by Chautauqua Airlines – a regional carrier for Delta – was told to make an emergency landing and Port Authority Police and the FBI met it when it came in.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio