A pilot who temporarily found himself locked in his aircraft’s lavatory and enlisted the aid of a passenger inadvertently created a terror scare that nearly resulted in an emergency landing.
According to news reports, once the captain of Delta flight 6132 traveling from Asheville to New York City realized he was locked in the bathroom, he asked a passenger to alert his co-pilot.
Trapped Pilot Accidentally Creates Terror Scare
The passenger, who had a “thick, foreign accent,” went to the cockpit door to deliver the message, which was met with suspicion by the co-pilot who radioed air traffic control that the “captain has disappeared” and it appeared the passenger was trying to access the cockpit. The co-pilot added, “I’m not about to let him in.”
Although the word “terrorist” was apparently not used in the conversation, the implication was clear there was trouble aboard.
Emergency Landing Aborted
Controllers ordered the co-pilot to make an emergency landing, but before that could happen, the captain managed to free himself from the lavatory, and explained it was all a false alarm, and the flight continued as normal.
Police met the plane when it landed at LaGuardia, but the Good Samaritan passenger with the accent was not charged.