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Teen Asked If He Could Fly the Plane, Then Tried to Crash It

State troopers say Jaden Lake-Kameroff grabbed yoke, sent plane into nosedive
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 9, 2021 9:28 AM CDT
Updated Jul 11, 2021 1:10 PM CDT

(Newser) – State troopers in Alaska say a teenager on a flight Wednesday afternoon asked the pilot if he could fly the small plane—and minutes after the bizarre request was rejected, he tried to crash it. Troopers say 18-year-old Jaden Lake-Kameroff grabbed the yoke of the Cessna Caravan, sending it into a brief nosedive before other passengers pulled him away, reports Alaska Public Radio. There were five other passengers on the Bethel-to-Aniak flight on Ryan Air, a small regional airline. "Our pilot relied on his training and professionalism, was able to just push the passenger backwards," airline president Lee Ryan said. He said passengers restrained the teen and the aircraft landed without further incident.

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Ryan said the airline has never experienced a similar incident and it will look into ways to stop it from happening again. Pilot Joshua Kersch told troopers that Lake-Kameroff tried to grab the controls when the plane was 5 miles from the Aniak airport and 1,000 to 1,500 feet above the ground, the Anchorage Daily News reports. The teen was arrested in Aniak and faces charges of second-degree terroristic threatening, five counts of attempted first-degree assault, and four charges of third-degree assault. Passengers said they thought they were going to die, an arrest affidavit states. Lake-Kameroff told troopers he was trying to end his life, the affidavit states. The teen said he had spoken to behavioral health experts in the past. (Read more Alaska stories.)

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