Copilot Kristian Markus Andresen Hailed As Hero... Again
Norwegian officials and citizens
alike are heaping praise on Kristian Markus Andresen, a Kato Air
pilot who, twice in ten months went to extraordinary lengths to
save his plane and his passengers. This, after Andresen, who was
the copilot on a Kato Air Dornier 228 carrying eleven passengers
Wednesday when a man stormed into the cockpit and started hacking
at the flight crew with an axe.
"I was busy in the cockpit and looking down," said pilot Stein
Magne Lian. "Then I was hit in the back of the head and understood
what was happening. I saw him hit the co-pilot."
It was, according to Norwegian news reports, a very close call.
The attack occurred as the flight from Narvik was descending into
the airport at Bodo.
Lian said he grabbed the man's left hand, in which he was
holding the axe. But as he did so, he said the assailant leaned
over and pushed the control column to the forward stop. The
aircraft plunged out of control, he said.
"The only thought I had in my head was to land safely. The only
thing he wanted then and there was to kill us and himself," Lian
Both the pilot and copilot were severely injured in the attack.
A passenger who helped subdue the axe-wielding assailant was also
hurt. Lian said he and Andresen were able to regain control of the
aircraft less than a hundred feet above the ground. Hurt and
bleeding, they were still able to land the aircraft safely.
The 34-year old man accused of staging the attack was an
Algerian who had sought asylum in Norway and was turned down.
Last December, Andresen was the copilot aboard a Kato Air flight
(above) that was struck by lightning during its descent. Andresen,
along with Capt. Ingar Lyngmo, were able to crash-land the aircraft
next to the runway. Both were hailed as heroes for their