A teenage airline passenger sent a small airplane into a nosedive over Alaska when he grabbed the controls mid-flight, Alaska State Troopers said.
Other passengers had to pry 18-year-old Jaden Lake-Kameroff from the controls of the Cessna Caravan and hold him down as the commercial pilot regained control of the flight from Bethel to Aniak, troopers and reports said.
“Lake-Kameroff had asked the pilot to fly the plane earlier during the flight and initially asked to sit in the unoccupied copilot seat,” Austin McDaniel, a spokesman for the troopers, told The Anchorage Daily News.
“Both requests were denied by the pilot,” he added.
The Ryan Air flight was in the landing process and about five miles from the airport when Lake-Kameroff allegedly pushed forward on the controls, the News stated.
A pilot identified as Joshua Kersch was able to steady the plane as passengers who thought they “were going to die” held the teenager down, according to an affidavit cited by the News.
Ryan Air President Lee Ryan told KYUK the incident was damaging for travel in remote western Alaska, where air travel is “the only way in and out.”
“Our pilot relied on his training and professionalism, was able to just push the passenger backwards, retook control of the aircraft,” he said, according to the station.
“Passengers helped restrain the unruly passenger, and they landed the plane without incident. Further incident.”