Flight Is So Short They Joke About It. Not This Time

Police say teen grabbed control of Alaska plane, sent it on a steep dive
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 11, 2019 8:41 AM CST
Stock image; not the plane involved.   (Getty/RalphRadford)

(Newser) – It's about as scary as it gets when it comes to air travel: Police in Alaska say a 16-year-old boy grabbed the controls of a small commuter plane and sent the aircraft into a steep climb, followed by a steep dive, before a female passenger subdued him, reports the Daily News-Miner of Fairbanks. The pilot then retook control of the Piper Cherokee 6 and landed it safely. The teen ran away upon landing, but police arrested him the following day. His motive for the stunt was unclear.

The incident took place on a Yute Commuter Service flight between the communities of Napakiak and Bethel, a four-minute journey so short that locals often joke about it, per KYUK. The teen had been sitting in the front passenger seat when he took control of the aircraft's yoke. A woman sitting behind the teen then pulled him away from the controls in a headlock. As of now, YCS is not planning on implementing any new safety features to prevent a repeat incident. (Read more Alaska stories.)

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