Off-duty pilot attempted to seize control of Alaska Airlines flight and turn off the engines

Originally published at: Off-duty pilot attempted to seize control of Alaska Airlines flight and turn off the engines | Boing Boing

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@pesco : re-boing.


The reporting sounds like a pilot for a different airline was inside the cockpit in the jump seat? What the actual shit is up with that? What’s the point of a physically secure cockpit after 9/11 if you’re going to allow unvetted employees of other companies to be locked in with the pilots?

Seems like there’s more story here.

Found better reporting out of Seattle. It was an off-duty Alaska Airlines pilot in the jumpseat of an Alaska sub carrier (Horizon Airlines). He tried to pull the emergency shut-off systems (used in case of an engine fire) for both engines - which would have turned off power and fuel to both and dumped gobs of fire extinguishing material into the engines.


Mr. Emerson and future courtroom sketch.

The pilot did not try to “seize control” of the plane. According to AA, “44 year old Joseph Emerson tried “to disable the aircraft engines while at cruise altitude by deploying the engine fire suppressions system.”

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The bigger question is, “Why didn’t he just wait until his own later flight, when he was on duty?”

It’s not like he was a “former” pilot. Then.

He wasn’t “unvetted,” he was cleared by the FAA to fly commercial airliners and was even scheduled to fly another plane that day. It’s not like he got on board with a fake ID or something.

Not much sense in a policy that says “we’ve decided you’re trustworthy enough to be put in charge of flying this commerical airliner but we won’t let you in the cockpit of another one in case you turn out to be a terrorist.”


On magic mushrooms, hadn’t slept for over 48 hours, and still very deeply upset at the death of his best friend.

FAA, can we please accept pilots are human and let them express emotions without grounding them so we don’t have more idiots like this guy self medicating and literally thinking he was in a dream?

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i think that deploying the fire suppression system shuts the engine down and discharges fire suppressant systems also ~
“”" reportedly attempted to deploy the engine fire suppression systems, which could cut the fuel supply and cause a flameout. “”"
from Horizon Air Flight 2059 - Wikipedia

I have no idea how jumpseat assignment is done, but I’m going to assume that it may be revisited after this.

Again, the problem isn’t that a person who was cleared to fly a commercial airliner was provided a free jump seat. The problem is that this particular person was cleared to fly in the first place.


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