‘It Didn’t Seem Right’: Off-Duty Pilot Who Tried to Turn Off Plane Engines Midair Reveals His Motive; He’s Charged with 83 Counts of Attempted Murder

An off-duty pilot allegedly attempted to crash an Alaska Airlines flight to San Francisco this week by turning off the engines after consuming magic mushrooms.

Authorities say Joseph David Emerson, 44, tried to activate the plane’s fire suppression system while in the cockpit, a potentially disastrous move that led to 83 charges of attempted murder. If successful, this action would have cut off the fuel supply to the engines.

Emerson later explained to the police that he experienced a “nervous breakdown” due to being awake for 40 hours and consuming psychedelic mushrooms for the first time.

Off-Duty Pilot Tried to Turn Off Plane Engines Midair Before Crew Restrained Him; He’s Charged with 83 Counts of Attempted Murder
Joseph David Emerson (Photo: Facebook/Naija Bombshells)

“I didn’t feel OK. It seemed like the pilots weren’t paying attention to what was going on. They didn’t … it didn’t seem right,” Emerson told police, according to several reports.

Passenger Aubrey Gavello informed ABC News that passengers “didn’t know anything was happening until the flight attendant got on the loudspeaker and made an announcement that there was an emergency situation and the plane needed to land immediately. … About 15 minutes later, she got back on and said that there was a medical emergency.”

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The flight, numbered 2059 and operated by Horizon Air, a subsidiary of Alaska Airlines, departed from Everett, Washington, shortly before 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 22. The affidavit reportedly does not confirm whether Emerson was under the influence of mushrooms while on the plane.

The plane’s pilots reported that they were in a casual conversation with Emerson when he got ahold of the controls that cut off fuel to the jet engines, and they had no prior indication of his intentions.

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After a 30-second struggle, they removed him from the cockpit, locked the door, and alerted the flight attendants to the situation. Emerson was restrained at the back of the plane and had to be subdued again when he attempted to reach the emergency doors. The flight was forced to divert to Portland International Airport, where Emerson was taken into custody by the Port of Portland Police. No one was injured.

Emerson faces multiple charges, including 83 counts of attempted first-degree murder, 83 counts of recklessly endangering others, and one count of endangering an aircraft in the first degree. Federal authorities added another charge of interfering with flight crew members and attendants on Tuesday.

Airline pilots are required to undergo medical exams every six months, and Emerson was listed as a certified pilot with medical clearance as recent as September, according to the FAA pilot database. Pilots are expected to self-report any mental health conditions.

Read the original story here.

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