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Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Incident: Man Tries to Storm Cockpit of Toronto-Bound Flight

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After making two attempts to enter the flight deck of a flight with Toronto as its destination, a Canadian citizen was detained on suspicion of interfering with flight crew members. If proven guilty, the man could be sentenced to 20 years in prison and pay a $25,000 fine.

Just 30 minutes after taking off from Newark Liberty Airport on Sunday, Sebastian Bien-Aine of Toronto asked the pilots of Porter Airlines flight PD134 to divert to the outlying Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport in Pittston Township, Pennsylvania.

An FBI agent looking into the event said that Bien-Aine got out of his seat as soon as the small Dash 8 turbo-prop regional plane took off and was still beginning its climb out of Newark.

According to witnesses, Bien-Aine “rushed” towards the flight deck and attempted to unlock the door, but discovered that the pilots had already fastened it shut. Bien-Aine was “ordered” by a flight attendant to return to his seat, but a little while later he stood back up and retreated from the flight deck.

Bien-Aine refused to leave the restroom despite repeated requests from flight attendants and other passengers to come out of the bathroom. He remained there for 15 minutes.

When he finally exited the plane, the flight attendants noticed ashes and smoke on the ground and a strong cigarette odor. Bien-Aine was then detained by local law police while the Captain made the decision to land the plane at the closest airfield.

On Thursday, Bien-Aine appeared in court after being charged by a federal grand jury with interfering with a flight crew. A trial has been set for September 26 and the suspect has been remanded in custody till that date.

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