Unruly passenger on Qantas flight sent back to Australia
MANILA, Philippines—Because of his alleged unruly behavior on a Qantas Airlines flight to Manila, an Australian man was sent back to Sydney immediately after arriving at Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Thursday evening, the police said Saturday.
Mamudu Kamara, 33, was detained by air marshals of the Australian Federal Police aboard flight QF-019 after he allegedly tried to force his way into the cockpit two-and-a-half hours into the eight-hour flight from Sydney.
An AFP agent detailed at the Australian Embassy in Manila notified the NAIA-based Philippine National Police’s Aviation Security Group about the incident.
Upon the plane’s arrival at NAIA Terminal 1 at 7 p.m., the handcuffed Kamara was escorted by the four air marshals who had arrested him to the NAIA immigration office for document and then to the PNP-ASG clinic for a medical checkup.
He was sent back to Sydney on the Qantas flight’s return trip about an hour later.
Chief Inspector Felindo Navarro of the ASG, who responded to the embassy’s advisory, said Kamara became abusive to cabin crew members after finding out that his mini-television screen was not working. When the crew would not fix the monitor, Kamara became angry and then rushed toward to cockpit and tried to open the cockpit door, apparently to personally complain to the pilot.
Kamara was then restrained by the air marshals with assistance from the crew. The pilot made the decision to continue the flight to Manila.
Since the alleged offense was committed on an Australian plane, Australian law applies and Kamara would be charged in Australia, according to ASG officials.
AFP national manager for aviation, Assistant Commissioner Shane Connelly, said in a statement posted on the agency’s website that abusive behavior poses a danger to passengers and crew alike.
“Distracting the pilots of a commercial aircraft carrying approximately 400 passengers and flying at an altitude of 10,000 meters is a very real threat to the safe operation of that aircraft. If the cockpit had been breached, the consequences could have been disastrous. Such behavior on flights involving an Australian destination or origin cannot—and will not—be tolerated by airlines and the AFP,” he said.
“While the aircraft was not endangered during this incident, we want to use it to remind people that harassment or violence directed toward airline staff and fellow passengers is against the law and the AFP will not hesitate to take action against those who commit these offenses,” the official added.
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