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AA Passenger Enters Flight Deck While Boarding

Airline Passenger Goes on Small Cockpit Rampage, Damages Flight Controls

An American Airlines Passenger boarding a flight to Miami, Florida from San Pedro Sula, Honduras, providing waiting passengers with a moment of pre-flight "entertainment" that led to them waiting for a replacement aircraft to be dead-headed from the US. 

The passenger caused problems when he sprinted down the jetway and made his way into the open cockpit. Once there, he is said to have begun damaging and breaking controls and switches throughout the flight deck, shortly thereafter attempting to escape the flight crew's attempts to stop him by opening the starboard cockpit window in an attempt to escape. Onlookers saw his capture and arrest, but the damage was done, with some pictures circulating online that showed broken, sheared off handles on the captain's thrust levers. The extend of the damage to the cockpit is undisclosed, but thought to be serious enough that the plane could not be quickly returned to service. The passenger was detained by local Honduran authorities, and the damaged Boeing 737-800 remained at the San Pedro Sula airport for repair. 

Reporters passed along an alleged statement from the company online, which read: "During boarding, an American Airlines passenger charged down the jetway and onto the aircraft. The man entered the open cockpit and damaged the flight controls. A pilot in the cockpit tried to stop him and then the man tried to jump out the open cockpit window. The aircraft is damaged and remains at the gate. This was American Airlines flight 488 from San Pedro Sula to Miami. American tells me they are sending a replacement plane now and expect the plane to depart at 9:30pm local time." 

FMI: www.aa.com

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