Brazilian Jet Forced to Land Following ‘Psychotic Attack’ on Pilot
A TAM Airlines jet en route from Montevideo, Uruguay to Sao Paulo, Brazil was forced to land after a passenger had a “psychotic attack”, entered the cockpit and assaulted a pilot, crew members and passengers who tried to subdue him, witnesses say.
According to passengers, the man who was allegedly wearing a TAM identification badge got into the cockpit because the door was open. Shortly after, the plane dove to the right, causing the passengers to scream and the pilot yell for help over the speaker system, reports News.com.au.
“All of a sudden shouts were heard from inside the cabin, and two stewardesses came out asking for help and grabbing a young man by his feet,” one unidentified passenger told Uruguay’s El Pais newspaper.
“The people quickly jumped on top of him, the guy fought back furiously, biting and hurting a half dozen people.
“In a kind of collective action they were able to immobilise him, tying him to a seat.”
The jet managed to land safely at the Porto Alegre airport in southern Brazil about 20 minutes after the incident with the man subdued in the rear of the plane.
TAM confirmed the incident in a brief emailed statement.
Flight 8047 “landed at the Porto Alegre airport because of an uproar on board….the incident is being investigated by authorities, with the collaboration of the company,” the statement read.
It is still unknown as to whether or not the attacker was a TAM employee.