Troopers: Passengers safe after man tries to crash commercial flight in Southwest Alaska

The Aniak airport. (Amazon River Adventure photo via Creative Commons)

There were some tense moments on a Ryan Air flight from Bethel to Aniak on July 7 when a passenger tried to take control of the plane. The other passengers restrained the man, and the pilot was able to land the plane safely.

A Ryan Air Cessna Caravan with six people on board was traveling from Bethel to Aniak on July 7 around 2:44 p.m.

Troopers said in a written statement that during the flight, 18-year-old Bethel resident Jaden Lake-Kameroff got up from his seat and took control of the yoke and attempted to crash the plane.

Lee Ryan, president of Ryan Air, said that the nosedive lasted only a moment.

“Our pilot relied on his training and professionalism, was able to just push the passenger backwards, retook control of the aircraft. Passengers helped restrain the unruly passenger, and they landed the plane without incident. Further incident,” Ryan said.

Troopers arrested Lake-Kameroff when the plane arrived in Aniak. He is being charged with terroristic threatening in the second degree, attempted assault in the first and fifth degrees, and assault in the third and fourth degrees.

Ryan said that the pilot and passengers did not sustain any injuries.

“We’re very thankful for the safe outcome, and extremely grateful for our pilot and the passengers on board,” Ryan said.

He called the incident damaging for air travel in the region.

“You know, we rely so heavily on aviation in Western Alaska. There’s no roads, it’s the only way in and out. And when a scenario happens like this, it’s very unfortunate for not only industry, but everybody, everybody in Western Alaska,” Ryan said.

Ryan said that this is the first time a passenger on a Ryan Air flight has attempted to take control of the plane. But he said the airline will be considering ways to prevent an incident like this from happening again, and he’ll be calling other airlines for ideas.

This story has been updated with information from Ryan Air.

KYUK - Bethel

KYUK is our partner station in Bethel. KTOO collaborates with partners across the state to cover important news and to share stories with our audiences.

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