A man stormed the cockpit of an American Airlines plane damaging flight controls and provoking a delay of eight hours. The incident happened as the passenger was boarding a flight departing from Honduras to Miami. The damaged aircraft, a Boeing 737-800, was carrying 121 passengers and six crew members, grounded at Ramon Villeda Morales International Airport in San Pedro Sula. Despite the crisis caused by the passenger, there were no reports of injury.
1. Unruly passenger
The passenger, identified as Aaron Christopher Ebanks Fuentes, reacted with agitation after being asked by crew members where he was going to store his luggage, the Honduran LaPrensa reported. American Airlines said in a statement on 11 January that crew members intervened and the man was arrested by local authorities to await charges. However, the American airline did not present formal charges to authorities and Fuentes was release some hours after the incident.
“He was freed because the airline did not press charges,” said Security Secretary spokesman Edgardo Barahona to CTV news. “The aggression toward the pilot and the crew of the airline was not serious.”
An amateur video from a someone who witnesses the entire episode and published it on social media, shows the passenger as he was apparently trying to get out through the cockpit window. After a few seconds, Fuentes retreats, or is pulled by someone, back inside the plane. Shortly after the event, the man was photographed sitting in a wheelchair with his shoes off.
We applaud our outstanding crew members for their professionalism in handling a difficult situation.American Airlines said in a statement
2. Eight-hours delay
The flight, scheduled to depart for Miami on Tuesday afternoon, was delayed for hours until a replacement plane could be arranged. Finally, the flight arrived in Florida early on Wednesday, 12 January, about eight hours late.