Flight Attendant Yelled, Then Plane Began Rapid Descent

American Airlines flight diverted due to unruly passenger
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 14, 2022 1:31 AM CST
Updated Feb 19, 2022 11:45 AM CST
Flight Attendant Yelled, Then Plane Began Rapidly Descending
American Airlines passenger jets prepare for departure, Wednesday, July 21, 2021, near a terminal at Boston Logan International Airport, in Boston.   (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

Passengers on American Airlines flight 1775 Sunday afternoon say they heard one flight attendant yell to another to turn the lights on, they were switched back on abruptly, and then, with no warning, the plane began a rapid descent. The problem? An unruly passenger, the airline says. The plane, which had been en route from Los Angeles to Washington, DC, was instead diverted to Kansas City, CNN reports. Passengers went to the front of the plane to help the crew subdue the passenger, who was allegedly trying to get into the cockpit. He later allegedly tried to open an exit door, the New York Times reports.

Three passengers and three crew members held him down and then restrained him with tape and zip ties; a flight attendant at some point had also hit him over the head with a coffee pot, witnesses say. Upon landing in Kansas City about 15 minutes later, FBI agents and police officers boarded the plane and the man was taken into custody. The FBI will investigate the incident. Passengers reported seeing him pacing the aisles, apparently paranoid, prior to the altercation. "We're grateful to our crew members, who are consistently dedicated to the safety and care of our customers and who handled the circumstances with the utmost skill and professionalism," American Airlines says in a statement. (Read more American Airlines stories.)

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