Flight makes emergency landing after man tries to open cabin door, crash plane, officials say

An Air Canada flight was diverted to Orlando International Airport after officials said a passenger became aggressive, attacked the crew with pots of coffee and tried to open the cabin door while the plane was still in the air.

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The man, later identified as Brandon Michael Courneyea, had to be secured to his seat by crew members and other passengers using zip ties, a federal criminal complaint said.

Courneyea was flying from Jamaica to Toronto Monday night when the incident happened, a federal criminal complaint said.

Crew members contacted the FBI at about 7:30 p.m. when a flight attendant reported Courneyea started to yell at fellow passengers “for looking at him,” the complaint said.

He then went to the back of the plane where he grabbed a pot of coffee from the galley and started to swing it aggressively at crew members, investigators said.

“Courneyea then stated that it would only take one guy to take the plane down and that he wanted to take everyone with him,” the criminal complaint said.

He then grabbed a second pot of coffee, prompting a flight attendant to confront him out of concern for other passengers, agents said.

“When confronted (by the flight attendant), Courneyea lunged for the rear cabin exit door and began to pull the door lever up to open the door,” the complaint said. “(He) then was restrained by crew members and fellow passengers on the aircraft.”

Crew members and other passengers used zip ties to secure Courneyea’s arms and legs to his seat, investigators said.

The incident went on for about 45 minutes before Courneyea was restrained and the plane landed in Orlando, witnesses said.

He was arrested by federal agents and charged with assault or intimidation of flight crew member or flight attendant and interfering with the performance of duties.

Credit: Vince Talotta

Credit: Vince Talotta

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