Passenger Opens Aircraft Door on St. Louis-Bound Frontier Flight

Tom Ozimek
By Tom Ozimek
October 26, 2018World News
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A passenger on a St.Louis-bound flight from Mexico was detained after opening a door on an aircraft taxiing to the runway.

The man struggled with flight attendants and passengers before opening the airplane door, automatically deploying an emergency slide.

The incident took place at Cancun International Airport in Mexico on Tuesday, Oct. 23, and involved a Frontier Airlines flight that was headed to St. Louis, Missouri.

Video captured by passenger Kathleen Ingham shows the commotion in the aircraft cabin.

“On the Frontier flight home from Cancun, leaving from the gate to take off when a man gets to the front of the plane and starts kicking the cockpit door telling them to let him off,” Ingham wrote in a Facebook post.

“We were in [the] front row and a gentleman behind us started throwing up,” Andy Karandzieff, another passenger on the flight, told Fox 2.

Karandzieff then said the man left his seat in a panic and began banging on the cockpit door.

Footage shows the visibly distressed man being escorted to his seat and crewmembers trying to calm him down.

Crewmembers attempt to calm down the distressed passenger
Crewmembers attempt to calm down the distressed passenger, on Oct. 23, 2018. (Kathleen Ingham via Storyful)

Ingham wrote that moments later the man sprang up out of his seat “and then pushes the flight attendant into the door and opens it.”

“He kind of jumped up like he was heading to the bathroom again but all of a sudden he made a left turn and went for the exit door,” Karandzieff recounted. “He did manage to get the door open after a little scuffle and within seconds, four or five guys came out of nowhere and subdued him.”

Passengers and crewmembers try to prevent the distressed passenger from leaping out of the moving aircraft
Passengers and crewmembers try to prevent the distressed passenger from leaping out of the moving aircraft, Oct. on 23, 2018. (Kathleen Ingham via Storyful)

“Thank God for the brave men and women that held him in the plane or he for sure would have been sucked into the engine,” Ingham wrote.

Police and airport officials talk to the distressed passenger, as an elderly man presumed to be a relative stands holding a suitcase
Police and airport officials talk to the distressed passenger, as an elderly man presumed to be a relative stands holding a suitcase, on Oct. 23, 2018. (Kathleen Ingham via Storyful)

Law enforcement officials then escorted the distressed passenger off the flight, which had to be canceled because the emergency chute had been triggered.

“If he would have opened door in-air, who knows what would have happened,” Karandzieff said.

Police questioned the man, who has not been identified by name, on the tarmac. An elderly man, presumed to be the man’s father, then comforted him.

A man presumed to be the distressed passenger’s father consoles him after he forced open the aircraft door
A man presumed to be the distressed passenger’s father consoles him after he forced open the aircraft door, prompting a police response, on Oct. 23, 2018. (Kathleen Ingham via Storyful)

The man was then reportedly taken to a hospital.

His mother spoke to Fox News and offered a possible explanation for her son’s erratic behavior. She said that her son had been involved in an altercation the previous night and had been struck in the head. She said he was accompanied on the flight by his father. The two were returning from a vacation in Cancun.

The remaining passengers were rebooked on other flights due to the cancellation.

Karandzieff praised the actions of the airline.

Ingham called for a re-evaluation of airline protocols around securing doors.

“Time to check how easy it is to unlock your doors while moving Frontier…not ok,” she wrote.

From The Epoch Times

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