Alaska Airlines Pilot’s “Magic Mushroom” Incident: A Terrifying Mid Air Scare

Source: Aubrey Gavello / King5 Seattle

In a shocking turn of events, an off-duty pilot for Alaska Airlines has been accused of attempting to shut off a plane’s engines mid flight. According to court documents filed on Tuesday, Joseph Emerson admitted to taking “magic mushrooms” approximately 48 hours before the incident occurred. This revelation has left authorities and the airline industry stunned.

Pilot’s Bizarre Actions

Emerson’s actions took place on a San Francisco-bound flight, causing panic and endangering the lives of all those on board. Investigators were told by Emerson himself that he believed he was dreaming and wanted to wake up, leading him to attempt to shut off the engines.

Source: Flickr / Makaristos, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The aftermath of this midair scare has left many questioning the mental state of the pilot.

Pleads Not Guilty to Attempted Murder Charges After In-Flight Incident

Emerson appeared in state court and pleaded not guilty to 83 counts of attempted murder and one count of endangering an aircraft. Additionally, he pleaded not guilty to 83 counts of reckless endangerment, a misdemeanor charge.

Source: King5 Seattle

In a separate federal court hearing, Emerson was charged with interfering with flight crew members and attendants for his attempt to grab the handle of an emergency exit.

Pilot’s ‘Magic Mushrooms’ Admission Sheds Light on In-Flight Incident

He told an officer he had taken “magic mushrooms” approximately 48 hours before the incident, shedding light on a possible connection between his drug use and his erratic behavior.

Source: Aubrey Gavello

The incident itself unfolded in the cockpit of Alaska Airlines Flight 2059. According to the documents, Emerson was seated in the jump seat and engaged in casual conversation with the pilots. Suddenly, he threw his headset across the cockpit and exclaimed, “I am not okay.” Emerson then proceeded to pull on the red handles that would have activated the plane’s emergency fire suppression system, cutting off fuel to the engines. The pilots were able to prevent him from fully activating the system by wrestling with him.

In-Flight Turbulence: Timeline of Pilot’s Erratic Behavior and Mid-Air Incident

Emerson’s struggle with the pilots lasted approximately 25 seconds before he calmed down, according to the documents. The entire incident lasted about 90 seconds before he was asked to leave the cockpit. The flight attendants were alerted, and Emerson was escorted to the back of the plane. Despite his erratic behavior, he complied peacefully and even disclosed that he had been removed from the flight deck.

Source: Aubrey Gavello

As the plane descended towards Portland’s airport, Emerson attempted to grab the handle of an emergency exit, according to the documents. Thankfully, a vigilant flight attendant intervened and prevented him from opening the door, according to the documents. Emerson was subsequently restrained and seated in the back of the plane until it landed safely.

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Ben Miller

Written by Ben Miller

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