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In November, I wrote about a former Delta Air Lines first officer allegedly threatened to repeatedly shoot the captain while inflight if the plane made an emergency diversion to aid a passenger needing medical attention. The pilot legally was able to carry the firearm into the cockpit, but the incident that unfolded was extremely troubling. The incident occurred in August 2022, but the pilot did not end up in court until now because he was deployed as an Air Force Reserve Officer on active duty in Germany.
Jonathan J. Dunn was indicted by a Utah grand jury for the incident that occurred on August 22, 2022. According to federal records, he is charged with interference with a flight crew. If found guilty, Dunn faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
Dunn did not want the captain to divert the plane (which was flying between Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) and Salt Lake City International Airpot (SLC)) to address the passengers medical needs and if they got worse while in flight. He “described in substantial detail how he would shoot the Captain multiple times” and that he would “shoot all the rounds he possessed” over his disagreement with the possibility of diverting. The 42-year-old pilot from Rapid City, ND was authorized by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to carry a firearm. This has been revoked and Delta confirmed that Dunn is no longer employed by the airline.
The US Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General (USDOT) is currently investigating the case and the prosecution is being led by the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Utah.
Anthony’s Take: This is a crazy story. It’s surprising that a pilot would throw away his entire career and have such an insane outburst while inflight. He’ll get his day in court and I can’t imagine this going well for him.
(H/T: Paddle Your Own Kanoo.)
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