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The Student News Site of Findlay High School

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Pilot shuts off plane engine in the air

Off duty pilot from Alaska Airlines, Joseph D. Emerson was accused of trying to shut off the engine of a plane that was still in the air. Emerson informed investigators that he had “taken magic mushrooms about 48 hours before taking flight”. Emerson says he believed he was dreaming and by pulling the fire extinguishing system, which would shut off the plane engines, he was attempting to wake himself up.

As an off duty pilot Emerson was permitted to ride in a jump seat in the cockpit and when he reached for the controls another pilot grabbed Emerson’s wrists to stop him. Another pilot told investigators that they had fought Emerson for a few seconds before he seemed to give up.

“Emerson was not able to pull the handles all the way down before he was stopped.” The court documented.

It has been said that 48 hours after taking ‘magic mushrooms’ it is very unlikely that the psychedelic would still be in his system by the time of the incident, but is likely that he might have been experiencing the after effects such as derealization, which may have caused him to believe he was dreaming. “I don’t understand why you’re showing me so much kindness, I’m obviously f—–d up.” Emerson said to an officer working on the case.

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Emerson was charged with interfering with the flight crew in court Tuesday. He was also charged with 83 counts of attempted murder for the passengers that could have been killed when he shut down the engine, 83 counts of reckless endangerment, and one count of endangering an aircraft, all of which he pleaded not guilty to. “I messed everything up.” Emerson reportedly said.

It was also explained later on that during the fight to keep him off of the plane controls they had attempted to move him to the back of the plane but he had grabbed the emergency exit handle and attempted to leap out of the plane but was ultimately unsuccessful.

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