AVweb

A 19-year-old student pilot is facing federal charges after allegedly repeatedly attempting to enter the cockpit of an Alaska Airlines flight on March 3.

According to CBS News, based on court records, Nathan Jones left his seat multiple times during Flight 322 from San Diego, California to Dulles, Virginia, making three separate efforts to access the cockpit door.  

An affidavit filed by federal air marshal Thomas G. Pattinson noted that off duty law enforcement officers helped flight attendants restrain Jones in flex cuffs and sat on either side of him for the remainder of the flight. To prevent further disruption, access to the flight deck was restricted for the duration of the flight and flight attendants used a beverage cart to barricade entry to the cockpit, according to the affidavit.

When questioned on his intentions, Jones told flight crew he was “testing them”. Upon landing Jones consented to a search where law enforcement found several notebooks containing instructions on aircraft operation including takeoff, mid-flight, and landing procedures, in addition to a student pilot license in his wallet.

Jones was charged with interference of a flight crew, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. The FAA is investigating the incident.

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