The incident occurred on Horizon Air flight 2059, which was en route from Everett to San Francisco. Due to the emergency, the plane was swiftly diverted to Portland, landing safely around 6:30 pm local time on Sunday.
The accused, Joe Emerson, a 44-year-old Alaska Airlines pilot, was in the cockpit’s jump seat during the flight. For reasons yet unknown, Emerson allegedly attempted to disrupt the engines’ operation. Fortunately, the quick actions of the captain and the first officer on duty prevented any significant harm. Emerson was promptly subdued and detained upon landing.
In an official statement released on Monday, Alaska Airlines, the parent company of Horizon, confirmed the incident, emphasizing that the “jump seat occupant unsuccessfully attempted to disrupt the operation of the engines.” The airline commended the flight crew for their immediate response, asserting that “engine power was not lost and the crew secured the aircraft without incident.” The pilots acted according to FAA regulations and were guided by air traffic control during the unforeseen situation.
The motivation behind the off-duty pilot’s actions remains unclear, and investigations are underway. The incident has raised concerns about internal security measures and the mental well-being of aviation personnel. Passengers onboard the flight were understandably shaken, but no physical injuries have been reported.
As the aviation industry grapples with the implications of this event, many are praising the Horizon Air flight crew for their quick thinking and professionalism in ensuring the safety of all on board.