Drunk pilot threatens to 'blow up' Dubai-bound plane

Published: August 2, 2018
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Representational image of an airplane. PHOTO: REUTERS

Representational image of an airplane. PHOTO: REUTERS

A Dubai court heard the case of an Emirati pilot who allegedly threatened to ‘blow up’ a Madrid-Dubai flight.

The pilot, 27, was reportedly intoxicated when he claimed to have explosives on board the flight, according to Khaleej Times.

The young pilot was travelling as a passenger on board the flight, according to public prosecution records of the Dubai court. He displayed erratic and aggressive behaviour, assaulting and knocking down a stewardess.

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The Court of First Instance has charged the pilot with the assault and verbal abuse of the crew, criminal threats, damage of public property, consumption of alcohol without a license, and the compromising of passengers’ safety. He was further accused of allegedly insulting his fellow passengers.

According to reports, the pilot ‘intentionally’ caused damage worth AED10,324 to a seat and a window cover on the flight on June 1. The incident was then reported to police at Dubai International Airport.

The assault and damage incident was reported to a British service manager at the airport, who then alerted the police. According to the manager, the police reported to the arrival gate upon receiving the alert and took the defendant into custody.

A Romanian flight attendant has said that the pilot had seemed inebriated when he boarded the flight. The attendant reported that “a few hours into the flight, he started to cause disturbance. He would call for us and then make insults. He would run to the kitchen to bring beer. He would also insult other passengers.”

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The witness recounted the pilot spoke inappropriately to a fellow passenger, standing on his seat. As the witness attempted to stop the defendant from removing and tossing his shoe, she was slapped on her chest and knocked down.

“A passenger helped me handcuff him and made him stay in his seat. He then said he had a bomb and would blow the plane off. He almost hurt himself when trying to remove the cuffs. He verbally abused me, the crew members and the passengers, screaming that we take his cuffs off.”

The attendant claimed that the defendant threatened to kill her and  “kept yelling, threatening and insulting us until arrival.” His behaviour caused disturbance and fear among the passengers.

The pilot also banged his head against his seat’s movie monitor, threatening to alert the police if the crew were to assault him.

The pilot has admitted to the charges during the succeeding investigation and his trial has been adjourned to August 8.

This article originally appeared in Khaleej Times.

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