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Alaska Airlines Passenger Attempted to Access Cockpit On Three Separate Occasions On Washington DC Flight to ‘Test’ Flight Attendants

Alaska Airlines Passenger Attempted to Access Cockpit On Three Separate Occasions On Washington DC Flight to ‘Test’ Flight Attendants

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A student pilot and passenger on an Alaska Airlines flight from San Diego to Washington Dulles Airport made multiple attempts to gain access to the cockpit before off-duty police officers who just happened to be on the flight managed to restrain the suspect with flex cuffs, a criminal complaint alleges.

Nathan Jones has been charged with interference with the flight crew and, if found guilty, faces a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment, plus a fine of up to $200,000, following the incident on March 4.

Prosecutors have so far revealed little information about exactly what Jones got up to on Alaska Flight 322 last Monday, but an affidavit filed in a Virginia district court dealing with the case describes how Jones got up multiple times throughout the four-hour flight from California.

Witnesses described how Jones made three separate attempts to get to the front of the aircraft and open the cockpit door before flight attendants requested the assistance of off-duty law enforcement to help restrain the suspect.

After the crew managed to restrain Jones using flexi-cuffs, the flight attendants asked him why he kept trying to get into the cockpit, to which he replied that he “was testing them”.

One of the flight attendants who would normally work at the back of the plane had to come to the front for the remainder of the flight to help guard Jones while a beverage cart was parked against the cockpit door in order to block the door from further unauthorized access attempts.

After the plane safely landed in Dulles, law enforcement arrested Jones and searched his belongings, uncovering “multiple notebooks with writings describing how to operate an aircraft, including take-off, in-air, and landing techniques”.

Jones also had his student pilot license in his possession.

Following his arrest, Jones remains held in custody on the orders of Judge Lindsey R. Vaala. The case has been postponed in order to give the court more time to obtain a mental health evaluation for Jones.

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