Alaska Airlines flight incident: Student pilot tries to enter cockpit, says he ‘was testing them’: report

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A student pilot reportedly has been charged after he allegedly tried to enter the cockpit of an Alaska Airlines plane multiple times during a flight earlier this month to Dulles International Airport in Virginia. 

Federal Air Marshal Thomas Pattinson said the incident involving 19-year-old Nathan Jones unfolded on Alaska Airlines Flight 322, which departed San Diego, California, on March 3. 

“Jones was a passenger on board that aircraft, assigned to seat 6E. During [the] flight, Jones got out of his seat multiple times and made three separate attempts to go to the front of the plane and open the aircraft’s cockpit door before flight attendants requested the assistance of off-duty law enforcement officers, who restrained Jones in flex cuffs and sat on either side of him for the remainder of the flight,” Pattinson wrote in a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Virginia. 

“When flight attendants asked Jones why he tried to access the cockpit, Jones replied that he ‘was testing them,” Pattinson added. “The flight deck was locked down for the remainder of the flight. 

ALASKA AIRLINES PLANE HAD DOOR PANEL BLOW OUT AHEAD OF SCHEDULED SAFETY CHECK: REPORT 

“One of the flight attendants had to move from his assigned area in the back of the plane to the front of the plane to help assist other flight attendants because of Jones’ actions,” Pattinson continued. “The flight attendants also had to put the beverage cart out as a barrier to block the cockpit, and one of the flight attendants remained with the beverage cart.” 

Pattinson, who works for the Transportation Security Administration, said law enforcement at Dulles contacted the FBI about Jones’ alleged behavior. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
ALK ALASKA AIR GROUP INC. 38.61 +1.25 +3.35%

“After the aircraft landed at Dulles, Jones gave verbal consent to search both his carry-on luggage and his checked luggage. Agents found multiple notebooks with writings describing how to operate an aircraft, including take-off, in-air, and landing techniques,” Pattinson also wrote in the complaint. “Jones’s wallet contained his student pilot’s license.” 

PASSENGERS DESCRIBE NIGHTMARE FLIGHT, PEOPLE ‘BOUNCED OFF THE ROOF,’ TURBULENCE ‘FELT LIKE AN EARTHQUAKE’ 

Alaska Airlines plane takes off in San Diego

Jones has been charged with interference with a flight crew, according to media reports. 

“The allegations are completely inconsistent with the life he has lived. He is a young man without any history of criminal conduct or violence,” Robert Jenkins, whom CBS News identified as Jones’ lawyer, said in a statement to the network. “At this stage we are acutely concerned with his mental health and are working to address his needs. We have confidence that at the end it will be clear that Mr. Jones never intended to harm or threaten anyone.” 

Alaska Airlines airplane takes off

        

Alaska Airlines did not immediately respond Wednesday to a request for comment from FOX Business.

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