An American Airlines flight from Jacksonville, Florida, to Washington, D.C., was diverted to Raleigh, North Carolina, because of a passenger who apparently tried to breach the cockpit.
American Eagle Flight 3444 was diverted “due to a safety issue involving an unruly customer,” the airline said in a statement.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg tweeted Wednesday evening that he was informed of the “flight diversion due to a Level 4 disruption on board”. According to Federal Aviation Administration documents, a Level 4 disturbance constitutes an “attempted or actual flight deck intrusion.”
The FAA noted in a tweet that it is finalizing a rule that “should have a second barrier to the cockpit for new aircraft.”
The passenger was taken off the flight by local police at Raleigh-Durham International Airport, the airline said. According to the airport, the Embraer E170 landed around 3:40 p.m. ET. After the passenger was taken into custody, the plane was cleared to continue to Washington, DC
The FBI’s field office in Charlotte responded to the incident, the agency said in a statement. “The FBI is currently conducting interviews to gather the facts and will consult with the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of North Carolina to determine whether any federal charges will be filed,” the FBI said.
The FAA said it was also investigating the incident.
– Katie Krupnik and Jeff Pegues contributed reporting.
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