Fighter Jets Escort Plane after Passenger Disturbance Onboard
Photo courtesy of Thinkstock
On Wednesday, a Compass Airlines flight operating on behalf of Delta Air Lines was diverted to Arizona due to a verbal disturbance involving a passenger.
In response, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) scrambled two F-16 fighters to intercept the commercial airplane and guide it safely until it landed at Tucson International Airport.
According to ABCNews.com, Compass Airlines Flight 5720 was en route to Los Angeles International Airport from San Antonio, Texas, with 80 people onboard when the flight crew informed the captain and co-pilot of a disturbance with a passenger.
Shortly after the captain and co-pilot were informed of the incident, the plane was intercepted by the fighter jets. NORAD officials wouldn’t reveal details about the incident, but they said the incident met the criteria needed to launch two F-16s as a way to monitor the plane until it landed safely.
The Tucson Airport Authority Police reported that one of its officers, as well as an agent from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, boarded the plane when it landed and handcuffed the suspect. The disruptive passenger was taken into federal custody due to the verbal disturbance, a FBI spokesperson told ABCNews.com.
All passengers were taken off the Compass Airlines plane and re-screened by Transportation Security Administration officers.
The official Twitter of Tucson International Airport updated passengers throughout the incident:
There was an incident on a flight that was diverted to @tucsonairport. 1 suspect detained at this time. Aircraft deemed safe.— TucsonAirport (@TucsonAirport) June 23, 2016
Passengers on diverted flight @tucsonairport and are being transported to terminal for rescreening.— TucsonAirport (@TucsonAirport) June 23, 2016
There was a report of interference with flight crew which is that caused the diversion to @tucsonairport.— TucsonAirport (@TucsonAirport) June 23, 2016
Passengers are currently being re-screened. They will then continue on to their final destination.— TucsonAirport (@TucsonAirport) June 23, 2016
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