February 13, 2012- A jet from Brazil made a successful forced landing following a psychotic attack suffered by a passenger. The passenger entered the plane’s cockpit and proceeded to assault the aircraft’s pilot. He also assaulted passengers and crewmembers who attempted to stop him.
The TAM flight was en route to Sao Paulo, Brazil from Uruguay’s capital of Montevideo when the passenger entered the plane’s cockpit due to the door being left open. Some passengers say the man was wearing an ID badge from TAM airlines. A short time after the man entered the cockpit, the plane careened downward to the right. Passengers screamed as the pilot screamed for help on the speaker system of the plane.
After shouts were overheard in the cockpit, two flight attendants came out and asked for help as they grabbed the man around his ankles. Passengers then jumped on the man to subdue him but he fought back quite furiously.
He injured six or more people. Eventually working together, the passengers and crew were able to immobilize the attacker by tying him to one of the plane’s seats. Witnesses said before the passenger was subdued he bit a number of people and hit others.
The plane was able to land in Port Alegre twenty minutes following the incident. The assailant was subsequently arrested and taken to a local mental facility.