Off-duty Alaska Airlines pilot tried to shut down jet’s engines mid-flight


On Sunday evening, Alaska Airlines Flight 2059, which flies from Paine Field in Everett, Wash. to San Francisco, was diverted to Portland after an off-duty Alaska Airlines pilot, who was in the jump seat of the cockpit, tried to shut down the engines mid-flight.

The off-duty pilot was subdued and forced out of the cockpit and into the cabin, while the pilot of the jet headed to Portland and called for law enforcement to meet the plane, which is also operated as a Horizon Air flight.

One Joseph David Emerson, 44, was booked into jail shortly after 4 a.m., according to Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office booking information, as reported by KATU in Portland, after being arrested by the Port of Portland Police Department. He faces 83 counts of attempted murder.

“We’ve got the guy that tried to shut the engines down out of the cockpit,” the pilot had radioed to Portland air traffic control. “It doesn’t seem like he’s causing any issue at the back. I think he’s subdued … Other than that, we want law enforcement as soon as we get on the ground and parked,” the pilot said.

Alaska Air Group said in a statement that it was “a credible security threat related to an authorized occupant in the flight deck jump seat. The crew secured the aircraft without incident. All passengers on board were able to travel on a later flight.” The passengers were given vouchers to fly later.

“We are grateful for the professional handling of the situation by the Horizon flight crew and appreciate our guests’ calm and patience throughout this event,” the company said.

The flight, which leaves Everett daily at 5:35 pm for San Francisco, had 80 passengers onboard, with two pilots and two flight attendants. It is routine for airlines to allow an off-duty pilot who is moving from place to place into the cockpit, where he or she sits just behind the captain and first officer who are flying the plane.

Alaska Airlines owns Horizon, which is a major air carrier in the Western United States and Western Canada, and Embraer jets are a typical size of aircraft flown by Horizon.


    • Exactly what I was going to say. People can’t figure out what bathroom to use, interest rates out of control, terrorists running the world. I don’t know how we can turn back from this path. Restoring DJT to his rightful place is about the only thing I can see that will turn this around. But as long as China Joe is int he seat, all we will see is society declining.

  1. What is wrong with people. He probably just wanted to eliminate Jumpseat privileges for everyone since it’s so clearly unfair and elitist. At least we know he’ll never fly professionally again

  2. I noticed a keypad to the right of the cockpit door on a recent flight. There had better be no in-cockpit lockout as was the problem with the German Wings murders. Maybe he was concerned about climate change and wanted the plane to coast the rest of the way? This needs to be fully aired out.

  3. Masked, I completely agree! Society has become very unstable mentally! Take safe travel away and add the criminal element in our own home towns, creates unhealthy conditions for us all!

  4. “Hey goy – you can’t be discriminatory against people with mental illness on anti-psychotics.
    Sure, we’ll hunt you down and end your career if you turn down the experimental Covid ‘Vax’ – but if your airline pilot is on 20 different happy pills – thats absolutely none of your goddamn business.”

    See a pattern yet?

    • Wrong. Pilots go through medical exams each year and are accountable to the FAA for their health. If anyone anywhere gets even a whiff that a commercial pilot is taking anything for mental instability or even seeking therapy (even for marriage issues), it can end their career. You can’t possibly be on anti-psychotics and be a commercial pilot.

      • What about the almost 5000 commercial pilots that collect disability pay from the VA but lie on their FAA medicals and claim perfect health?

        Alaska Airlines (the name is a joke in and of itself) is another accident waiting to happen.

  5. Well I wonder if he is related to any extremist groups. What do we not know about this story other that what else is this headline masking. Slight of hand seams normal for this administration and maybe this was an attempt to start something big here at home.

    • I agree Mark , this has got to be one of the shortest statements ever for a plane that was being hi-jacked on a suicide mission. Hopfully we will know more soon.
      1. Was this related to any extremest groups?
      2. Pilots have regular exams so typical mental health issues would have popped up before 44 most likly. Did this guy go crazy because of problems with the jab? I recently herd a nurologist speaks, people are having several different issue that appear to be mental health realted but that is not what is happening at all.

      • aksonya: “Did this guy go crazy because of problems with the jab?” That’s an example of the second part of the scientific method. Now test your hypothesis and provide measurable results. Then a conclusion.

  6. One can’t trust a woke company. However in this instance, the perpetrator pilot attempted inclusiveness for all. Woke companies need to wake up. These woke companies have a greater tendency to hire off-kilter employees and need to issue a MMPI test (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory) for all job candidates. Especially to those in safety positions, during their extensive/expensive flight training.

    • No fine. He should be tried and executed for attempting mass murder. His execution should be Friday. No accountability, it’s unbelievable how fast we are falling.

      • Prevention is key: provides safety and cost effectiveness. Mental Evals are necessary. Hiring for expertise not politics is key. Go woke, go broke. Alaska Air has become a clown show.

    • This may be the dumbest, most uniformed post I have ever seen on this website – and that is a tall order. With zero information, you jump straight to “it’s because they are woke!”

  7. Surely this wasn’t a practice run for another 9/11.
    Maybe this is simply what customers should learn to expect from severely woke and vaxxed corporations such as Alaska Airlines.
    Wasn’t it only a week ago that a near midair collision occurred between Alaska Flight 1299 and SkyWest Airlines Flight 3978 over Portland Airport?
    “In the air traffic audio, the controller told the Alaska flight to follow the (Portland Airport) “runway heading” path, while the Skywest flight was told to turn right as it left the runway. The seemingly confused pilot on the Alaska flight then repeats the instructions meant for the other flight, and starts to turn right into the path of the plane that just took off.”

  8. The probably ‘woke’ off-duty pilot of Chaz Airlines was likely just taking his radical leftist extremist political beliefs to their logical ultimate conclusion, which is death for all.

  9. Thanks to HIPPA and the airline pilots association, we’ll never hear what his mental condition was. Like AK Flight 1299…

  10. Clearly another radicalized build back better democrat, who’s been dogwhistled by the hateful rhetoric of ilhan Omar and rashida talib along with dictator in cheat blubbering Biden.

  11. An act of terrorism. If it happened in Houston this guy would be in prison for life. But it happened in a west coast city. So this guy will go free and become a leftist hero. Will probably be on Oprah soon.

  12. Either he was on the brink of mental breakdown lost all control or he just didn’t respect work to be too fearful losing his job or he was being disciplined by Alaska Air and lost his temper. Seeing how far and how long these American companies walked away from their biblical faith foundation, its employees would begin losing their respect for self, coworkers, and employer. You know working for a secular employer would be more challenging on an employee’s mental health than for an employer who has some level of fear of God and a bit of biblical worldview understanding.

    I still have the Alaska Air Psalm verse Lunch cards it discontinued.

    • Howdy Jen. He was going to go down with the plane.No chance for Salvation, no Sinners Prayer, no Redemption. Murder Suicide. Doesn’t get any worse. He CHOSE HELL. Nobody else did. Praise God he didn’t succeed. Hope he gets Life in Prison, Solitary Confinement. Maybe a Gidons Bible

      • Sarge: Why “Praise God he didn’t succeed.”? What would have been God’s role if the guy HAD succeeded and killed all those innocents? I think I know the answer: God gave humans free agency. If that’s correct, then good things are caused by god and bad things by humans?

  13. No matter what sort of jingo anyone would want to use to describe this attempted hi-jacking, and the perpetrator, this was clearly the lucky day for a bunch of people. Future prevention is more than a matter of luck.

    According to the ‘collated common knowledge at Wikipedia’; “Andreas Lubitz, who deliberately crashed a plane in Germany was the co-pilot, who had previously been treated for suicidal tendencies and declared unfit to work by his doctor.”

    I hope this is a nod to the policies across the airline industry. I remember hearing from my sister about transport for those on active duty in the military i.e. stand-by, and I’m sure that some of those military passengers were pilots.

  14. I’m pretty sure that Pete Buttgig figures in this somehow. There has been a sharp decline in transportation safety since he became Secretary of Transportation (or whatever his job is).

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