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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 15 November 2018

Drunk off-duty pilot threatened to blow up plane, Dubai court hears

Man accused of saying he had explosives and of slapping air stewardess

A man has been given a ten-year prison sentence for smuggling heroin into the UAE. AFP
A man has been given a ten-year prison sentence for smuggling heroin into the UAE. AFP

A pilot has been accused of drunkenly threatening to blow up a plane and attacking an air stewardess while off-duty.

The Emirati was a passenger on the Madrid to Dubai flight when he made the threat, prosecutors said.

Dubai Court of First Instance heard the pilot is accused of a string of charges, including compromising the safety of a flight and passengers, assaulting and verbally abusing the crew, making criminal threats, damaging public property and consuming alcohol without a licence and insulting other passengers.

The 27-year-old is said to have caused more than Dh10,000 of damage to a seat and a window cover during the Emirates flight on June 1.

An attendant said the man did not appear sober when he boarded and that the trouble began a few hours into the flight.

"He would call for us and was insulting," the Romanian flight attendant testified.

She said he "ran into the kitchen to get beer" and was offensive to fellow passengers.

She said that the man slapped her chest and threw his shoe at her before claiming he had a bomb and would blow up the plane.

Cabin crew raised the alarm with an airport manager, who contacted police.

Officers were waiting for the suspect at the arrival gate at Dubai International Airport and took him into custody.

During the police investigation, the accused admitted to the charges, the court was told.

The trial continues on Wednesday August 8.