A local Las Vegas man has been arrested after prompting a major security alert when he scaled the perimeter fence at McCarran International Airport on Saturday afternoon and then climbed onto the wing of an Alaska Airlines operated Boeing 737 that was waiting to depart with passengers already onboard.
The pilots of Alaska Airlines flight AS1367 bound for Portland (PDX) noticed the man walking along the taxiway as it prepared for departure and stopped the plane on the tarmac. The man then somehow managed to climb onto the wing where police negotiators attempted to talk him down for around 20 minutes.
After several police officers walked onto the wing in an attempt to coax the man down, he then attempted to climb up the winglet at the tip of the wing. Shortly afterwards, the man fell to the ground and police were quick to detain and arrest the man
In a statement, a spokesperson for Alaska Airlines explained: “Around 2 p.m. PST, Alaska Airlines flight 1367 from Las Vegas to Portland was preparing for takeoff when the pilot noticed an individual advancing towards the aircraft.”
“The pilots notified the tower. Law enforcement was dispatched and able to apprehend the individual. Our guests and employees are safe and we are working with law enforcement. The plane has returned to the gate for a full inspection.”
A police spokesperson said they believed the man’s actions were either the result of “impairment or mental illness”.
Despite the fall, passengers onboard the plane say the man didn’t appear to be injured.
After a delay of nearly five hours, Alaska Airlines flight AS1367 eventually arrived in Portland.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.