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American Airlines passenger enters cockpit, damages controls

Date: January 12, 2022

BY JOSEPH CHOI, The Hill

An American Airlines flight in Honduras was delayed on Tuesday after a passenger entered the plane and caused extensive damage, reportedly wrecking the flight controls.

According to American Airlines, the incident occurred on a plane scheduled to fly from San Pedro Sula, Honduras, to Miami.

"A customer entered the open flight deck and caused damage to the aircraft. Crew members intervened and the individual was ultimately apprehended by local law enforcement," American Airlines said in a statement to The Hill.

"A replacement aircraft is on its way to Honduras and the flight is scheduled to re-depart at 9:30 pm local time. We applaud our outstanding crew members for their professionalism in handling a difficult situation," it added.

Details about the passenger and what caused them to damage the aircraft were not shared.

ABC News transportation journalist Sam Sweeney reported that the male passenger entered the cockpit of the plane and damaged the flight controls. According to Sweeney, the man tried to jump out of the cockpit's window as the pilot tried to intervene. 

Video of the incident that was posted on social media appeared to show the passenger leaning out of the plane, seemingly shouting at airport employees on the ground.

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