In an event that sounds like it is out of a thriller novel, passengers found their American Airlines flight delayed because their pilot was arrested for the capital crime of murder!
Naturally, the pilot is innocent until proven guilty (and thus we won’t name names here, but a quick google search will find it elsewhere), but this startling event has sent shockwaves throughout the aviation industry, touching passengers and airlines alike.
What are the details?
We all expect delays, from weather to operational issues. But never that the pilot of our upcoming flight is arrested for a serious crime.
The pilot in question, who was the first officer for flight Flight 5523 from Louisville to Charlotte, was arrested in front of passengers for three counts of murder just before he boarded the plane to begin prechecks.
when u find out that the @AmericanAir pilot was a murderer for TRIPLE homicide!!!! can’t believe we could have got on a plane with him
— Victoria Rendeiro (@victoriarend) May 11, 2019
Passengers described a scene of commotion, with a small army of heavy armed police approaching the man (who, being ex-military was still highly-trained and in excellent fitness), shutting down the wing of the terminal and performing the arrest swiftly.
This caused the flight to be delayed well into the afternoon as American Airlines scrambled to find an new (and presumably crime free) first officer.
Passengers were naturally rattled, with many taking to Twitter to describe their close brush with a possible murder (who would have been flying their plane).
Ok, so this is WILD and SCARY!
We were so close to the Pilots arrest today at SDF, terminal B.
This AA pilot was arrested TODAY (while we were nearby Gate B5)!! Glad they got the Murderer Pilot ! Besides weather, they were 3 hrs late! I wonder why!👀#AmericanAirlines #AA5523 pic.twitter.com/BrMRn00Zs5
— DFS_GAL™ (@Hills11DFS) May 12, 2019
Whilst later were just upset that their flight was delayed.
Hey @AmericanAir how about you hire enough employees that I don’t have to wait 2 hours in a line to get my luggage sorted out after YOUR pilot got arrested …. just a thought
— Anna Margaret (@annamargarita55) May 11, 2019
What does American Airlines think?
It’s important to remember that this pilot, who had passed the government mandated background checks, had been flying American Airlines for a year and a half. He had a perfect track record and (thus far) no complaints against him (personality or performance).
American Airlines has issued this statement:
“All of us at American Airlines and PSA Airlines are deeply saddened to have learned about these allegations from 2015. Our team was made aware of the indictment this morning after his arrest at Louisville International Airport.
“We have an unwavering commitment to the safety and security of our customers and team members, and we will provide any investigative assistance possible to law enforcement throughout their investigation.”
As this situation is still ongoing, Simple Flying will keep updating this story.
What do you think? Would you fly on a plane with a pilot accused of triple homicide?