December 6, 2023

Alaskan Airline Pilot Indicted on 84 Charges

There was a report about two months ago that startled the nation, especially those of us who regularly travel on airplanes.

Joseph David Emerson, 44, an off-duty pilot, attempted to stop the engines on a plane.

He has now been indicted with 83 counts of reckless endangerment and one account of endangering an aircraft.

Going to Jail

The charges were announced on Tuesday by Multnomah County, OR, District Attorney Mike Schmidt.

Emerson was on a flight on Horizon on October 22 when the incident took place.

Initially, prosecutors wanted 83 charges of attempted murder, but the grand jury refused to take it that far, deciding reckless endangerment was more appropriate.

Emerson’s attorneys have defended his actions by saying that he thought he was “in a dream” and only trying to get back to his family.

The LHG legal group stated, “[Emerson] just wanted to return home to his wife and children.

“Simply put: Captain Emerson thought he was in a dream; his actions were taken in a single-minded effort to wake up from that dream and return home to his family.”

Emerson, as a pilot, had been given permission to ride in the cockpit’s jump seat.

He was talking to the captain of the plane when he suddenly proclaimed, “I’m not OK.” Emerson then allegedly tried to grab the handles to activate the plane’s fire suppression system, which would have cut the fuel, effectively shutting down the engines while the plane was in mid-flight.

The flight was diverted to Oregon, where Emerson was taken into custody.

He later admitted to having psilocybin, found in psychedelic mushrooms, in his system, as well as not having slept for almost two days.

I don’t know about you guys, but I think I will be paying a bit more attention to who I see boarding the plane and sitting in the jump seat from this point forward.

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