x

Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 11 December 2018

Off-duty pilot who drunkenly threatened to blow up Emirates flight is jailed

Emirati sentenced to a year in prison for disorderly behaviour on flight to Dubai

An off-duty pilot had to be restrained after acting disorderly on an Emirates flight to Dubai from Madrid. Randi Sokoloff / The National
An off-duty pilot had to be restrained after acting disorderly on an Emirates flight to Dubai from Madrid. Randi Sokoloff / The National

A pilot who drunkenly threatened to blow up a plane before assaulting a flight attendant will spend a year in prison.

On June 2, the off-duty Emirati pilot, 27, was travelling on-board an Emirates flight to Dubai from Madrid when he began acting up.

A Romanian flight attendant told Dubai Criminal Court that the accused began causing trouble as they were getting ready for departure and asked her if smoking was allowed on the plane.

She said he insulted her and others, punching her on the chest and then took two beers from a cart without crew members’ permission.

“Other crew members talked to him and tried to calm him down and asked him to stop using foul language, but he did not listen,” said the woman.

The man was allegedly rude to another passenger, prompting cabin crew to restrain him with a plastic handcuffs. Once restrained, he headbutted the TV screen in front of him, breaking it, then threatened to find out where she lived so he could kill her.

The accused began shouting, threatening to blow up the plane with explosives he claimed to have smuggled on his person.

Police arrested the man after the plane landed at Dubai International Airport.

He was charged with illegally consuming alcohol, being disorderly on-board an aircraft, and threatening the safety of passengers. He was also charged with issuing threats to kill, insulting crew members and passengers and causing Dh10,000 worth of damage by breaking the TV screen and window.

At court in August, he admitted to all the charges and on Wednesday, he was convicted and sentenced to jail.