'Disoriented' Flier Forces Emergency Landing

Passenger arrested after trying to open cabin door mid-flight
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 11, 2012 12:01 AM CDT
'Disoriented' Flier Forces Emergency Landing
A member of the flight crew completes a walk-around of the aircraft after the emergency landing yesterday.   (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

A flight from Portland, Maine, to Philadelphia was forced to make an emergency landing at Boston's Logan airport yesterday after a disoriented passenger apparently decided he wanted to get off in mid-air. The passenger, 40-year-old Michael Ensalaco of North Carolina, walked to an emergency door and tried to open the latches before he was subdued by a flight attendant, reports the Boston Herald. "He didn’t know where he was," says a passenger who screamed at him to stop. "He was just talking in complete randomness. His eyes were very wide open."

Ensalaco was removed from the plane by state troopers, and charged with interfering with a flight crew. But his family, who say he suffers from a medical condition, hopes the charges will be dropped. The incident is "totally out of character" for the married father of five, who has taken medication to control seizures in the past, his mother says. After a rash of incidents involving unruly passengers last year, airlines stressed that it is impossible to open the cabin door in mid-air. (More emergency landing stories.)

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