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4/21 UA735 ORD-SMF diverted to DEN due to unruly pax/bomb threat

4/21 UA735 ORD-SMF diverted to DEN due to unruly pax/bomb threat

 
Old Apr 22, 06, 6:18 am
  #16  
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Originally Posted by rar indeed
Am I correct in suspecting that it is physically impossible to open an exit door at altitude?
Yes, the air pressure difference makes it damn near impossible.
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Old Apr 22, 06, 6:36 am
  #17  
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I am flying ORD-SMF monthly these days. If that's a 320, then if I'm on that flight I'm going to be in 10C. And that guy is going to be in need of hospitalization.

The Feds should charge him with 100+ counts of attempted murder.
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Old Apr 22, 06, 7:19 am
  #18  
 
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Originally Posted by ElmhurstNick

The Feds should charge him with 100+ counts of attempted murder.
Absolutely.
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Old Apr 22, 06, 7:33 am
  #19  
 
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Originally Posted by ElmhurstNick
I am flying ORD-SMF monthly these days. If that's a 320, then if I'm on that flight I'm going to be in 10C. And that guy is going to be in need of hospitalization.
AMEN BROTHER!!!

The message that is being sent recently when people lose their minds and start taking a swing at flight crews on an American-flagged flight is this: The men on the airplane when you pull this stunt are going to leave their seats, tackle your butt, beat the living s**t out of you and if you are fortunate enough to survive the flight you're going to jail for a long, long time.

We had all been trained to be sheep in the event of an energency. They took advantage of that. With every passing event like this, we send the same message: Make a move like this and you may not live to see the landing. Your rights mean little to us when we're at 30,000 feet.

MAD SNAPS to the guys who subdued this character. I'm kind of impressed that they managed to restrain themselves from turning him into a greasy spot in front of the lavatory.

--PP
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Old Apr 22, 06, 10:09 am
  #20  
 
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I can't believe som of the attitudes on here - by all means go for this guy if it turns out he was doing it deliberately - but as has already been pointed out this was almost certainly a psychotic event and the guy had no knowledge of what he was doing (or why, or where).

It seems clear to me that Ambien mixed with alcohol is capable of inducing this kind of psychosis, but it could be a plain simple schizophrenic episode.

If only we spent as much money and energy on caring for the mentally ill as we do in locking people up in prison, then maybe these kinds of incidents would happen less often.

david
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Old Apr 22, 06, 10:18 am
  #21  
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Originally Posted by SeattleDavid
If only we spent as much money and energy on caring for the mentally ill as we do in locking people up in prison, then maybe these kinds of incidents would happen less often.
Fine. But when he's trying to open the emergency exit door, he's not going to succeed. If I can get him subdued without hurting him, fine. If not, c'est la vie - my life comes before his mental health.
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Old Apr 22, 06, 10:35 am
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The TV news I was watched last night also mentioned that a "Federal Agent" also assisted in grabing the guy and taking him down. The news story didn't mention the term Federal Air Marshall, so it just may have been a law enforcement officer traveling on business. They also interviewed the gentleman who first jumped on the guy trying to open the door. He mentioned that the guy at the door was extremely strong and quite agressive. It took three people to eventually subdue him to the floor. According to people on the plane he was shouting things about God, September 11 and a whole raft of crazy things that made no sense.
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Old Apr 22, 06, 10:47 am
  #23  
 
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Thumbs up

I was in 3C on Flight 735 and saw everything that happend....and it was A LOT scarier to all of us in first than the news is reporting.

Situation started after meal was served and "Chronicles of Narnia had been on for about an hour (never will watch that movie without thinking about this flight). An hispanic man walked up to first, kind of shuffling with a hanging head and a slack expression. I looked up when he walked by, thought he looked weird but not weird enough to worry about. I went back to the movie and the next thing I know I hear our flight attendant yelling, "No sir, Stop that Sir!" and then "get away from there"! The passenger in 2D stated he could see that the guy had indeed been able to move the handle on the main exit door all the way over and that he could see the inner door lifting and moving a bit. The flight attendant rushed forward to push back on the door trying to close it. It was at that moment that some pretty cool guys in 1B, 1C stood up grabbed the guy and had him in want I think was considered a choke hold. 1D, another big guy (all 3 men who helped to subdue the man were a good size fortunately) was also helping to hold the guy down.

The guy seemed to faint and slumped to the ground...but only for a moment. He then started trying to get up and apparently he was quite strong because although there were two men holding him down, it appeared that he was going to be able to get up and wanted to move back toward the door to open it. He was screaming, "I want to die, "I have a camera in my stomach", "Kill Me "and also "We have to save the Country!" Several other men in first and the first couple of rows in Economy started standing up saying "do you think they need more help?".........It appeared to me that the two guys holding him were starting to lose the battle and I yelled basically yes, they could use some more muscle. (I am female and was terrified but would have been up there helping too if needed!) About 3 more guys stood up and jumped to the front.

He had a brother or companion that came up front and I guess was trying to help but there seemed to me to be a language barrier between the guys holding him, the two flight attendants and the "brother". In addition, we all had no idea what was really happening and there was a fear in all of us that the "brother" might be in on what was happening. The guy claiming to be the brother started yelling to stop it to the guy that was pinned but to no avail. In addition to all of this fun the pinned man starting making the most horrible wretching sounds as if he was vomiting. Loud sounds and several expressed concern about keeping him off of his back so he wouldn't choke. He apparently did not vomit but it all added to the weirdness. About then several started demanding that the brother go back to his seat...again, we did not know if it was some kind of crazy plot involving more people or what. Eventually, he aqreeed and returned to his seat which lessened to tension a bit. I remember one guy saying "we can keep this up for two more hours" which was true as the pinned man was continuing to struggle.

In the first bin over 1 A/C handcuffs were found and from somewhere duct tape was brought out. The passengers holding the man wrapped duct tape around the mans knees and ankles and then managed to handcuff him.

Channel 9 WAS on and the guy in 3D and myself listened to the conversations of the pilot and the Denver airport. It was believed that there might be a bomb threat since the guy was raving about needing his camera and the "camera in his stomach" comments" and permission was given to land in Denver under an emergency situation. Apparently two fighters were deployed out of Buckley AFB and were conversing with the pilot in order to figure out exactly what was going on. I suppose it could be said that if the piliot was not communicating sufficiently with the jets, that some sort of action would have been taken. Fortunatly, all was well in the cockpit and the pilots were excellent. They were given permission to return to DIA at a speed and route that was at their descretion. The Pilot came on and announced to the pax and crew that we had declared an emergency situation and that we were about 140 miles out of Denver and that Denver was preparing for our landing. The pilots did well in juggling talking to Denver ground, the jets and keeping the passengers pretty well informed on what would be happening to us.

Meanwhile, back in first, a gentleman walked up from the back and spoke a few words to the flight attendant. Some believed he was an air marshall which I don't quite believe or he would have been up to the front sooner. Others have stated that he was a Secret Service agent and still others believe he was an FBI agent going to Sacramento for a law enforcement seminar. I believe he may have been traveling with another law enforcement person. He took charge of the situation bringing his bag up to the front and taking out his own handcuffs. They took the duct tape off of the guy and stood him up and walked him back to 4C in economy, directly behind me. By now, he was very quiet which helped a lot to calm everyones nerves.

There was a lot of excitement yet to come as the pilots felt they needed to get the plane on the ground as quickly as possible were flying VERY fast towards DIA. Making lots of hard turns. As we got closer to Denver and were getting ready to land, DIA ground asked the pilot if he was going to be able to land at the angle he was coming in at and the pilot replyed that he thought yes but if he missed he would just come back around. Well, we experienced the most amazing approach and landing that any of us will ever experience in a lifetime. The vision I have is that of the Reno Air Races where you see planes flying at extreme angles and very close to the ground. Perhaps this is a slight exaggeration but I would have to say only slight. I would give anything to be able to see our approach and landing on film. Several of the first passengers were very frequent fliers and were stunned at what we experienced. On final approach we banked very hard left and dropped in elevation dramatically. The ground, as we were banking, was so incredibly close! I apologize if I sound like a ninny but it was very exciting and scary. The landing was awesome. I feel that our pilot was extremely skilled and flew very well under extreme duress. Still listening to Channel 9 the pilot was unsure if we would have to emergency evacuate but it was determined to not be necessary.

When we landed, the "unruly" passenger was moved to the front door and the police came on and removed him very quietly. We had landed way out, very far away from the terminal. Those of us in first that were witnesses and some of the people that were near where the passenger sat were asked to give written statements. We were placed on a bus along with our carry-ons and taken eventually back to DIA.

United did an excellent, excellent job of organizing the entire process. All the passengers were brought into a large room in the B terminal that was filled with comfortable chairs. They brought refreshments for us and asked us to relax. When all of the passengers finally arrived to the room United may announcements that a plane was being prepared for us and that we would be leaving again in 2 hours. We were all thinking that we would be at DIA for hours and would undoubtely be staying overnight. United offered to fly those that did not want to fly that night to fly them the next day on Saturday.

They actually started loading us on the plane a little earlier than expected which was nice. It turned out to be the very same plane which was a bit interesting but fine as it meant that we would be leaving sooner because of it. We had a new crew and the return flight was quite pleasant.

I apologize that this post is so long and undoubtely a bit rambling but I wanted to provide as much detailed information as possible. All in all, I am very pleased with how well United performed in this very unusual and scary situation.
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Old Apr 22, 06, 11:27 am
  #24  
 
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WOW! I expect this was an experience you will not soon forget. Thanks for sharing this remarkable story, which thankfully ended well.

Originally Posted by Starwood Nut
I was in 3C on Flight 735 and saw everything that happend....and it was A LOT scarier to all of us in first than the news is reporting...
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Old Apr 22, 06, 11:35 am
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Thanks for the first-person account. That's a flight you'll never forget...
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Old Apr 22, 06, 11:38 am
  #26  
 
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Originally Posted by SeattleDavid
...It seems clear to me that Ambien mixed with alcohol is capable of inducing this kind of psychosis...
Are you a physician, psychopharmacologist, or someone else with suitable professional expertise to comment on this? If you can cite to any literature describing such reactions to a combination of Ambien and alcohol, please do so. Ambien, alcohol and other psychoactive substances can produce some pretty extraordinary behavior, but I wouldn't think Ambien and alcohol the explanation here. It is far, far more likely that this person is chronically psychotic.
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Old Apr 22, 06, 11:47 am
  #27  
 
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Originally Posted by Starwood Nut
I was in 3C on Flight 735 and saw everything that happend....and it was A LOT scarier to all of us in first than the news is reporting.

Situation started after meal was served and "Chronicles of Narnia had been on for about an hour (never will watch that movie without thinking about this flight). An hispanic man walked up to first, kind of shuffling with a hanging head and a slack expression. I looked up when he walked by, thought he looked weird but not weird enough to worry about. I went back to the movie and the next thing I know I hear our flight attendant yelling, "No sir, Stop that Sir!" and then "get away from there"! The passenger in 2D stated he could see that the guy had indeed been able to move the handle on the main exit door all the way over and that he could see the inner door lifting and moving a bit. The flight attendant rushed forward to push back on the door trying to close it. It was at that moment that some pretty cool guys in 1B, 1C stood up grabbed the guy and had him in want I think was considered a choke hold. 1D, another big guy (all 3 men who helped to subdue the man were a good size fortunately) was also helping to hold the guy down.

The guy seemed to faint and slumped to the ground...but only for a moment. He then started trying to get up and apparently he was quite strong because although there were two men holding him down, it appeared that he was going to be able to get up and wanted to move back toward the door to open it. He was screaming, "I want to die, "I have a camera in my stomach", "Kill Me "and also "We have to save the Country!" Several other men in first and the first couple of rows in Economy started standing up saying "do you think they need more help?".........It appeared to me that the two guys holding him were starting to lose the battle and I yelled basically yes, they could use some more muscle. (I am female and was terrified but would have been up there helping too if needed!) About 3 more guys stood up and jumped to the front.

He had a brother or companion that came up front and I guess was trying to help but there seemed to me to be a language barrier between the guys holding him, the two flight attendants and the "brother". In addition, we all had no idea what was really happening and there was a fear in all of us that the "brother" might be in on what was happening. The guy claiming to be the brother started yelling to stop it to the guy that was pinned but to no avail. In addition to all of this fun the pinned man starting making the most horrible wretching sounds as if he was vomiting. Loud sounds and several expressed concern about keeping him off of his back so he wouldn't choke. He apparently did not vomit but it all added to the weirdness. About then several started demanding that the brother go back to his seat...again, we did not know if it was some kind of crazy plot involving more people or what. Eventually, he aqreeed and returned to his seat which lessened to tension a bit. I remember one guy saying "we can keep this up for two more hours" which was true as the pinned man was continuing to struggle.

In the first bin over 1 A/C handcuffs were found and from somewhere duct tape was brought out. The passengers holding the man wrapped duct tape around the mans knees and ankles and then managed to handcuff him.

Channel 9 WAS on and the guy in 3D and myself listened to the conversations of the pilot and the Denver airport. It was believed that there might be a bomb threat since the guy was raving about needing his camera and the "camera in his stomach" comments" and permission was given to land in Denver under an emergency situation. Apparently two fighters were deployed out of Buckley AFB and were conversing with the pilot in order to figure out exactly what was going on. I suppose it could be said that if the piliot was not communicating sufficiently with the jets, that some sort of action would have been taken. Fortunatly, all was well in the cockpit and the pilots were excellent. They were given permission to return to DIA at a speed and route that was at their descretion. The Pilot came on and announced to the pax and crew that we had declared an emergency situation and that we were about 140 miles out of Denver and that Denver was preparing for our landing. The pilots did well in juggling talking to Denver ground, the jets and keeping the passengers pretty well informed on what would be happening to us.

Meanwhile, back in first, a gentleman walked up from the back and spoke a few words to the flight attendant. Some believed he was an air marshall which I don't quite believe or he would have been up to the front sooner. Others have stated that he was a Secret Service agent and still others believe he was an FBI agent going to Sacramento for a law enforcement seminar. I believe he may have been traveling with another law enforcement person. He took charge of the situation bringing his bag up to the front and taking out his own handcuffs. They took the duct tape off of the guy and stood him up and walked him back to 4C in economy, directly behind me. By now, he was very quiet which helped a lot to calm everyones nerves.

There was a lot of excitement yet to come as the pilots felt they needed to get the plane on the ground as quickly as possible were flying VERY fast towards DIA. Making lots of hard turns. As we got closer to Denver and were getting ready to land, DIA ground asked the pilot if he was going to be able to land at the angle he was coming in at and the pilot replyed that he thought yes but if he missed he would just come back around. Well, we experienced the most amazing approach and landing that any of us will ever experience in a lifetime. The vision I have is that of the Reno Air Races where you see planes flying at extreme angles and very close to the ground. Perhaps this is a slight exaggeration but I would have to say only slight. I would give anything to be able to see our approach and landing on film. Several of the first passengers were very frequent fliers and were stunned at what we experienced. On final approach we banked very hard left and dropped in elevation dramatically. The ground, as we were banking, was so incredibly close! I apologize if I sound like a ninny but it was very exciting and scary. The landing was awesome. I feel that our pilot was extremely skilled and flew very well under extreme duress. Still listening to Channel 9 the pilot was unsure if we would have to emergency evacuate but it was determined to not be necessary.

When we landed, the "unruly" passenger was moved to the front door and the police came on and removed him very quietly. We had landed way out, very far away from the terminal. Those of us in first that were witnesses and some of the people that were near where the passenger sat were asked to give written statements. We were placed on a bus along with our carry-ons and taken eventually back to DIA.

United did an excellent, excellent job of organizing the entire process. All the passengers were brought into a large room in the B terminal that was filled with comfortable chairs. They brought refreshments for us and asked us to relax. When all of the passengers finally arrived to the room United may announcements that a plane was being prepared for us and that we would be leaving again in 2 hours. We were all thinking that we would be at DIA for hours and would undoubtely be staying overnight. United offered to fly those that did not want to fly that night to fly them the next day on Saturday.

They actually started loading us on the plane a little earlier than expected which was nice. It turned out to be the very same plane which was a bit interesting but fine as it meant that we would be leaving sooner because of it. We had a new crew and the return flight was quite pleasant.

I apologize that this post is so long and undoubtely a bit rambling but I wanted to provide as much detailed information as possible. All in all, I am very pleased with how well United performed in this very unusual and scary situation.
Thanks for taking the time to compose thid eyewitness account. And kados to all of your fellow paxs that assisted the flight crew. By the way, during the landing phase where did they seat this guy?
Regards
LWW
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Old Apr 22, 06, 11:55 am
  #28  
 
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Thanks

Thanks for the detailed report. A few questions:
1. I'm assuming that all the pax may not have known exactly what was going on, if they did not see something, etc. E.g. pax in the back. What did the pilots announce was going on requiring the emergency landing;
2. Can you describe more in terms of when the police came on and took the person off? Did they use air stairs to access the plane, I'm assuming it was at a remote part of the airport? What was it like when they opened the door? Did the FBI agent guy get off with them? Did they seem to ask a lot of questions about what happened, or just rush the guy off and close the door?

Thanks again for the report. Interesting/good they kept ch9 on. Interesting landing/approach and story also.
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Old Apr 22, 06, 11:58 am
  #29  
 
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Red face

Originally Posted by 747LWW
Thanks for taking the time to compose thid eyewitness account. And kados to all of your fellow paxs that assisted the flight crew. By the way, during the landing phase where did they seat this guy?
Regards
LWW
I thougt he was was seated directly behind me, in row 4, seat C but now that I think of it, he was probably in 4D with the Secret Service/FBI guy that came forward and took custody of him sitting behind me in 4C. Not sure as I did not want to crank my head around and stare being so close.
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Old Apr 22, 06, 12:08 pm
  #30  
 
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Bleet!

Either way, the person's clearly a danger to society and should be locked up. Mentally ill or not.. that's unfortunate. Many murderers have had bad childhoods, but that in no way excuses them from their actions.
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