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American Airlines Pilot Linked to Triple Murder Arrested Before Takeoff

An American Airlines flight from Louisville to Charlotte was unexpectedly delayed for nearly three hours after the co-pilot was arrested on homicide and arson charges stemming from a horrifying 2015 triple murder involving the crew member’s neighbors. The aviator was taken into custody at the airport just prior to his flight after he was indicted by the Kentucky Attorney General.

Passengers at Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport (SDF) on Saturday soon learned that their American Airlines flight to Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) would be delayed for a most unusual reason. This flight’s first officer had just been arrested on homicide charges stemming from a previously unsolved 2015 triple murder.

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear announced the break in the case in a televised press conference shortly after the pilot for American Airlines subsidiary PSA Airlines, Christian Richard Martin was taken into custody. Beshear said his office took over the case after speaking with family members of the victims.

(Image Source:  Christian County Detention Center)

“We can announce an indictment of Christian Richard Martin on three counts of murder, one count of arson, one count of attempted arson, burglary in the first degree and three counts of tampering with physical evidence,” Beshear announced on Saturday.

“There are many steps from here, but we hope this is one example of when you never stop seeking justice, when you never give up, that we can truly get important results for these families.”

The charges come nearly four years after the bodies of Pamela Phillips and her neighbor Edward Dansereau were found in a burning car in a Christian County, Kentucky cornfield. Calvin Phillips was later found fatally shot at the married couple’s nearby home.

“All of us at American Airlines and PSA Airlines are deeply saddened to have learned about these allegations from 2015,” American Airlines told Business Insider in a statement. Our team was made aware of the indictment this morning after his arrest at Louisville International Airport. We have an unwavering commitment to the safety and security of our customers and team members, and we will provide any investigative assistance possible to law enforcement throughout their investigation.”

Airline officials told NBC that Martin was immediately grounded and has been placed onadministrative suspension” pending the resolution of the criminal case. After a free flight crew member became available, American Eagle Flight 5523 departed approximately 2 hours and 42 minutes behind schedule.


[Image Source: Flickr/ Matthew Hurst]

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Viscount724 May 18, 2019

What's the connection between this story and the photo? Found the photo on Flickr and it's 8 years old and certainly isn't a Bombardier CRJ like the aircraft involved in this story. When I first saw it I assumed it was taken by a passenger on the flight and was going to show the arrested pilot being removed from the aircraft but it is obviously totally unrelated to the story.