A pilot for Delta Air Lines is accused of pulling a gun on a commercial flight’s captain and threatening to shoot them “multiple times” if the aircraft was diverted to receive emergency medical assistance for a passenger who was experiencing a medical emergency.
A Utah Grand Jury indicted First Officer Jonathan J. Dunn on Wednesday for interfering with a flight crew subsequent to the horrific August 22, 2022, incident. Dunn could receive a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison if found guilty.
Prosecutors have not provided many details about what transpired during the flight; however, the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Office of Inspector General has confirmed that Dunn was permitted to carry a firearm on the flight deck as part of a post-9/11 security program.
Dunn, a pilot for Delta Air Lines on the Airbus A320 fleet, allegedly got into a fight with the captain of the aircraft over the necessity of diverting a commercial flight due to a passenger experiencing a medical emergency, according to the criminal indictment.
After pulling a gun on the Captain, the OIG said in a statement that “Dunn told the Captain they would be shot multiple times if the Captain diverted the flight”.
While acknowledging that it cannot comment on the ongoing criminal investigation, Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines has confirmed that Dunn is no longer employed by the airline. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) added that because of the ongoing investigation, it was unable to provide any additional information.
In order to protect the cockpit from attack, authorized pilots are permitted to carry a loaded firearm on the flight deck of a commercial aircraft under the Federal Flight Deck Officer program, which was established in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.
The TSA states that before being allowed to carry a firearm on the flight deck, pilots in the program must pass a rigorous training course, submit to a thorough background check, and undergo psychological testing.