WASHINGTON – The North American Aerospace Defense Command scrambled fighter jets Thursday night after an unruly passengers on a United Airlines flight from Denver forced the flight crew to declare an emergency.
Flight 662 landed safely at Dulles International Airport,
A NORAD spokesperson tells WTOP military jets were scrambled but the jets did not escort the plane to Dulles.
The unruly passenger refused to follow instructions for landing, United Airlines tells WTOP.
The spokesperson referred further questions to the Federal Aviation Administration. WTOP called the FAA but the calls have not been returned.
Two passengers who were on board the flight, Christopher Haag and a woman who preferred to remain anonymous, tell WTOP the man refused to follow a flight attendant’s instructions for landing.
They say the man was yelling and praying in the aisle.
“Apparently at some point there he refused to sit down when the stewardess told him, and that was about the time we were coming in for approach,” Haag tells WTOP.
“And then I guess she finally got him to sit down. He got back up, then he was mumbling, then kneeled down in the aisle and he started to pray, and about that time a bunch of other passengers went back and they subdued him.”
The woman who spoke with WTOP said the flight attendant “basically held him down in the aisle while we landed. It was an emergency landing. It was straight, very fast taxi to the gate.
“There was a bunch of emergency vehicles at the gate when we got there. As soon as we got the door open, a lot of cops came on board.”
The unruly passenger was reportedly strapped down and taken away from the gate in a wheel chair and then to a hospital for a “medical issue.”
WTOP’s Mike Jakaitis, Ari Ashe and Lacey Mason contributed to this report. Follow Ari, Lacey and WTOP on Twitter.