Off Duty Pilot Tries To Crash Airliner

The Horizon Air passenger who attempted to seize control of a flight from Seattle to San Francisco on Sunday has been identified as an off-duty pilot.

That’s the word from one of the plane’s on-duty pilots, who told air traffic controllers a passenger who’d been riding in the cockpit attempted to turn off the engines mid-flight, a recording of the plane’s transmissions reveals. Off-duty pilots often travel in a cockpit’s “jump seat” when they’re not on duty.

The incident forced pilots to make an emergency landing in Portland, where the unidentified man was taken into custody, according to officials with Alaska Airlines, which owns and operates Horizon. In a statement released Monday, Alaska officials say, “The event is being investigated by law enforcement authorities.”