Fighter jets scrambled after man 'rushed cockpit' on flight AA31

Two US fighter jets were scrambled to escort a flight from Los Angeles to Hawaii after a man allegedly tried to break into the cockpit of an American Airlines flight.

The man was subdued by passengers and flight attendants, who had to use a drink cart to block him from the front of the plane.

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Fighter jets scrambled after man 'rushed cockpit'

Two US fighter jets were summoned to escort flight AA31 in the US after an unruly man was subdued by passengers and flight attendants, who used a drink cart to block him from the front of the plane.

The man, later identified as Anil Uskanil, 25, of Turkey, was duct-taped to his seat until the plane landed in Honolulu and federal agents boarded the plane and arrested him, passenger Lee Lorenzen said.

"The flight attendants just were really heroic," Lorenzen said. "By the time we landed and the FBI took him into custody, he was very mellow."

American Airlines Flight 31 landed safely at 11:35 am (local time) with 181 passengers and six crew members aboard, airline spokeswoman Katie Cody said.

"Two Pacific Command F-22 Raptors from the Hawaii Air National Guard scrambled this morning in response to a reported disturbance on a civilian airliner making an approach to Honolulu International Airport," US Navy Commander Dave Benham told CNBC.


"It was all kind of surreal," passenger Peggy Lorenzen told Honolulu TV station KHNL. "It all transpired ... so quickly — him rushing the cockpit. It was pretty serious what was going on."

Uskanil had already been arrested hours earlier at Los Angeles International Airport for opening a door that led onto an airfield ramp, according to Los Angeles Airport Police, who provided Uskanil's identity to The Associated Press.

Police say Uskanil had been drinking but didn't meet the criteria to be arrested for it. He was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanour trespassing and given a date to appear in court.

The US Department of Homeland Security Secretary, John Kelly, was briefed on the midair disturbance, according to a statement from the department. There are no other reports of disruptions, but the department said it is monitoring all flights Friday out of caution.