A man has been arrested after charging past airport security and locking himself in the cockpit of an American Eagle plane for three hours.
Andrew Alessi, who had a ticket for another flight, stormed through the departure gate at Baton Rouge Airport, Louisiana, and onto the aircraft as airline staff cleared up after landing.
Barging staff out of his way, he ran down the access tunnel and onto the plane before heading straight for the empty flight deck.
A tense standoff followed as Alessi – who is unable to actually fly a plane – sat stubbornly in the pilot’s area for three hours while SWAT team negotiators attempted to talk him down.
His motives for the bizarre break in remain unclear, but police said he was angry about a personal issue.
Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport Chief of Airport Security Anthony Williams said that once locked, the door to a passenger plane’s cockpit is ‘virtually impregnable’.
Airline security turned off the batteries of the craft, making it impossible start the ignition, even if Alessi had known how.
Williams said that the aircraft was in the process of a turnaround, having just flown in from Dallas, when Alessi boarded.
‘It had been cleared of passengers,’ Williams told a news briefing. ‘No passengers were ever in danger and they were in the process of clearing the plane and doing their final security walk-through.
Source: The Daily Mail