Stealth fighters escort Hawaii-bound flight after in-flight disturbance

LOS ANGELES — Two U.S. stealth fighter jets escorted a Honolulu-bound American Airlines aircraft on Friday after a man caused a disturbance aboard.

The “unruly passenger” aboard American Airlines Flight 31 from Los Angeles to Honolulu was subdued after trying to rush toward the cockpit with a blanket over his head.

The incident prompted two Hawaii Air National Guard F-22 Raptor fighter jets to scramble to escort the airliner.

“Due to a disturbance on the flight, the crew requested that law enforcement meet the aircraft upon landing in Honolulu,” according to the airlines.

The plane landed safely in Honolulu at 11:35 a.m. local time (0135GMT), said local daily the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

The “unruly passenger” was arrested by waiting FBI and law enforcement officers. A FBI official in Hawaii told reporters that the man named Anil Uskanil is 25 years old, of Turkey. He was taken to a hospital for evaluation while the FBI prepares for a complaint alleging him of interference with a flight crew.

It was the second time that the man was arrested on the day. Earlier Friday morning, Uskanil opened a door that led from the Terminal 5 concourse to an airfield ramp at Los Angeles International Airport. He was spotted by a contractor and later arrested by Los Angeles Airport Police officials for misdemeanor trespassing, cited and released.

Despite the arrest and the admission that Uskanil had been drinking, Airlines officials allowed him to board Flight 31.

A few hours into that flight, passengers told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, the man was successfully subdued by a flight attendant and passengers as he was trying to rush into the first-class, to approach the cabin.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security acknowledged in a statement that the suspect was in custody and the department will continue to monitor all flights and provide updates as necessary. Xinhua/PNA – northboundasia.com