Seattle, WA – A Horizon Air flight bound for San Francisco was forced to make an unscheduled landing in Oregon following a shocking incident in which an individual, who was reported to have access to the cockpit, attempted to shut down the plane’s engines. The flight, identified as Horizon Air flight 2059, safely touched down in Portland after the pilot took decisive action in response to what was deemed a “credible security threat.”
While en route to San Francisco, the situation unfolded, leading to the arrest of the Alaska Airlines pilot responsible for averting potential disaster. In the midst of the mid-flight turmoil, the pilot calmly informed Portland air traffic control, “I’ll just give you a heads-up. We’ve got the guy that tried to shut the engines down out of the cockpit. It doesn’t seem like he’s causing any issue at the back. I think he’s subdued.”
The manner in which the off-duty pilot was subdued and whether passengers played a role in this intervention remains uncertain. Notably, the flight was carrying approximately 80 passengers, including several infants. The individual involved, who was believed to have attempted to disable the engines, was positioned within the flight deck, directly behind the two pilots. The incident, although alarming, was not unprecedented, given that airline employees can avail themselves of free rides to their home base after completing their work shifts, provided there are available seats.
In a statement released the following Monday, Alaska Air Group, the parent company of Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air, acknowledged the gravity of the situation. They confirmed that there had indeed been a “credible security threat related to an authorized occupant in the flight deck jump seat.” Fortunately, the flight crew managed to secure the aircraft without incident, and all passengers were accommodated on a subsequent flight. Alaska Air Group expressed gratitude for the professionalism displayed by the Horizon flight crew and commended the passengers for their calm and patience throughout the ordeal.
Despite the ordeal’s resolution, the motive behind the attempt to shut down the plane’s engines remains shrouded in mystery. The Daily Mail reported that the case remains under ongoing investigation, and at this time, no information is available regarding the individual’s possible motivations for such a dangerous action.
This incident highlights the importance of air travel security and the protocols in place to respond to potential threats, underscoring the critical role played by vigilant airline personnel and law enforcement.