The pilot, who was off duty, was in the cockpit of an Horizon Air plane. Horizon Air is a regional airline owned by Alaska Airlines.
Joseph David Emerson (44) has been detained since Sunday.
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Joseph David Emerson (44), has been detained since Sunday, when an Alaska Airlines flight 2059 operated by Horizon Air, bound for San Francisco, was diverted to Portland International Airport. Emerson was seated in the jump seat at the cockpit and allegedly tried to shut down engines by engaging the fire suppression system.
Jump seats are often used by pilots in commercial cockpits for commuters.
According to booking records of the Multnomah county Sheriff's office in Oregon, Emerson had been charged with 83 charges of attempted murder, and 83 counts reckless endangerment, as well as a count for endangering an airplane.
The federal charge for interfering with members of the flight crew carries a maximum sentence of 20 years.
According to court documents, the pilots of the flight told investigators there were no signs of trouble early on in their flight.
Emerson is alleged to have said, "I'm not okay" while sitting on the jump seat in the cockpit. According to court documents, the other pilot saw him reach out, grab, and pull down fire handle.
The court document said that one pilot stated Emerson had to "be wrestled with", while another pilot declared an emergency in flight and diverted the plane to Portland. Emerson said to a flight crew member that he needed to be cuffed immediately or things would get bad. During the descent, he grabbed the handle of the emergency door and was stopped.
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