An off-duty pilot is in deep s**t after allegedly trying to turn off a plane’s engine MID flight.
On Sunday, Alaska Airlines pilot Joseph Emerson was riding in the jump seat in the cockpit of a Horizon Air flight from Everett, Washington to San Francisco, California. But in a baffling turn of events, the aircraft didn’t make it to its destination on that initial go — because he apparently tried to shut off the engine while up in the air! Remember, he was off-duty — he wasn’t supposed to be touching the plane’s controls! And yet he nearly killed everyone on board!
According to an arrest affidavit obtained by multiple outlets, the 44-year-old had a “nervous breakdown” while on the flight after not sleeping for 40 hours. He was apparently having a normal conversation with the two on-duty pilots about the weather and his length of employment, when he all of a sudden announced “I am not okay” before allegedly lunging forward and attempting to activate the plane’s emergency fire suppression system. That would have cut fuel supply to its engines, according to court documents.
Luckily, the pilots were able to subdue Emerson and remove him from the cockpit before making an emergency landing in Portland, Oregon. But before that could happen, Emerson apparently told a flight attendant that he was “losing it” and needed to be handcuffed or else it was “going to be bad.” According to the Department of Justice, he then attempted to grab the handle of an emergency exit despite being cuffed! Thankfully he was stopped by a flight attendant. One attendant claimed he said, “I messed everything up” and admitted he “tried to kill everybody,” according to the legal docs.
Holy s**t!! That is so terrifying!
When the plane made a safe landing in Portland, Emerson revealed in a recorded conversation with police:
“I didn’t feel okay. It seemed like the pilots weren’t paying attention to what was going on. They didn’t… it didn’t seem right.”
He denied being on any medication but did reveal that he’d developed depression within the last six months — and that he’d had taken PSYCHEDELIC MUSHROOMS for the first time… TMZ noted it wasn’t exactly clear from the affidavit if he meant he was still tripping during the flight, but that was the implication.
Emerson was charged with 83 counts of attempted murder and interfering with a flight crew. According to the affidavit, he waived his right to an attorney and told police the following:
“I’m admitting to what I did. I’m not fighting any charges you want to bring against me, guys.”
What the hell?? We seriously don’t even know how to react to all this info!!! We’re just so glad everyone is safe.
Emerson lives just outside of San Francisco with his wife Sarah Stretch and their children. We can’t even imagine what they must be going through right now.
Neighbors of the pilot were left in complete shock, as he’d always seemed very “friendly.” See more (below):
Thoughts, Perezcious readers?? Sound OFF in the comments down below.
[Images via Joseph Emerson/Facebook & KRON 4/YouTube]