Passengers who flew into a rage

A 27-year-old Kenyan student, Paul Mukonyi, on a recent BA flight, almost crashed a jumbo jet when he invaded the cockpit because he felt threatened by other passengers.

The flight survived two nosedives after the autopilot was accidentally disengaged as Mukonyi struggled with the pilot.

  • Last year an obese American on a Sabena flight was unable to fold down his table to eat. Despite various attempts by the staff to offer alternatives, he threw his headset at the flight attendants. The pilot intervened and contacted the control tower to have a police escort arrest the man.
  • An SA Express passenger unhappy with his seat became so aggressive that the aircraft had to return to the parking bay to drop him off. The airline brought a court application against the passenger and was awarded R6 500 in compensation.
  • Police escorts guarding a Nigerian deportee on a Sabena flight bound for the Ivory Coast allegedly ordered that his handcuffs be removed. The deportee ran down the aisle to the cockpit causing a major disturbance. The plane had to be rerouted to Spain.
  • On a Lufthansa flight to Mexico City, an intoxicated Russian man assaulted a passenger. When the passenger complained to the purser, the Russian man punched the purser and slammed him into a wall. Eight people finally pinned the man down so that a doctor could give him two doses of valium.
  • A 19-year-old man on an Ameri-can airline flew into a rage and tried to break into the cockpit. Crew members and passengers restrained him so forcefully that he ended up unconscious and bleeding from the mouth. He died after being taken into custody. Several passengers claim the flight crew had provoked the man.

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