Photo Credit: Tim Gouw
Man Jumps From Moving United Airlines Plane After Trying To Open Cockpit
On Friday, a United Airlines passenger was taken to the hospital after successfully opening the service door and jumping out of the plane as it was moving down the tarmac. United Airlines flight 5365 had just pushed back from its Los Angeles International Airport gate around 7pm, when things took a turn.
According to ABC News, 33-year-old Luis Antonio Victoria Dominguez of La Paz, Mexico, broke his leg Friday when he opened the plane’s emergency exit and jumped to the tarmac. He was said to be under the influence of methamphetamine.
“The passenger pounded on the cockpit door and ultimately exited the plane through an emergency door, landing on the pavement,” FBI Spokesperson Laura Eimiller said in an email.
Police responded and apprehended the man on the runway. He was taken to a nearby hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The United Airlines plane, which was headed to Salt Lake City, Utah, eventually made it to its destination hours later. No other passengers were injured.
A criminal complaint released late Monday describes Dominguez as going out the night before and buying several beers and “lots of crystal meth for $20” in downtown LA. The morning of his flight, he continued to consume drugs and was even spotted wondering the streets.
The passenger next to him on the LA flight says he was very uneasy and fidgety. The complaint alleges that Dominguez told authorities he overheard other passengers laughing and saying they weren’t going to the intended destination of Salt Lake City. So, he panicked, thinking he was on the wrong flight, and immediately got out of his seat as the plane pushed back.
But, the passenger next to him alleges that he told her he needed to get off the plane and was going to jump, and to mind her business.
Dominguez faces up to 20 years in prison if found guilty of interference with a flight crew, a federal offense.
This was yet another scary moment for LAX crew and staff. Just days before, a car drove through the FedEx cargo gate, causing a police chase across the runway.
With travel being in full swing across United States airports, sadly we are seeing a rise in airplane incidents, like the two mentioned above. Just a few weeks ago, we reported a Delta flight attendant getting into an altercation and attempting to open the cabin door, mid-flight. He was heard telling others onboard to get close to their oxygen masks.
While his attempt was unsuccessful, the plane was diverted, and the man arrested on the ground.
The FAA continues to report an increase in unruly behaviors, and they have begun handing out heftier fines to those involved. Some airlines are also considering eliminating alcohol onboard, in an effort to cut down on these incidents in the future.