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Off-duty Emirati ‘pilot’ threatened to blow up Dubai-bound plane

Off-duty Emirati ‘pilot’ threatened to blow up Dubai-bound plane

The man is facing multiple charges and a hefty bill for damages

An off-duty Emirati pilot appeared in court on Wednesday on charges of drunkenness, behaving rowdily on an aircraft and threatening its safety after issuing bomb threats on a flight from Madrid to Dubai, according to reports.

Gulf News said that the episode began when passengers were boarding the Emirates flight in June.

The Emirati, who was a passenger, reportedly first asked a Romanian stewardess if smoking was allowed on the plane.

Upon being seated, he then started insulting other passengers, assaulted the crew member and made his way to the galley to grab two beers without the permission of the crew.

Despite attempts to calm him down, the 27-year-old continued to use insulting language and behaved rudely, forcing staff to restrain him using plastic handcuffs, according to the publication.

Following this, he became more aggressive and started threatening to blow up the plane and kill the Romanian air hostess.

The man also repeatedly hit his head on the entertainment screen at his seat and kicked a window, damaging both.

“A few hours after takeoff, he started acting rowdily. He ran towards the aircraft’s kitchen, took two beers without permission … he disturbed the passengers’ comfort, shouted, and cursed. He also threatened to kill me … and claimed that he would blow up the plane because he was carrying explosives,” the crew member was quoted as saying in court.

The Emirati was arrested by police upon arrival at Dubai International Airport and charged with drunkenness, behaving rowdily on a plane and threatening its safety and that of passengers. Other charges included threatening to kill the stewardess, insulting crew members and passengers and causing Dhs10,000 ($2,722) of damage to the window and entertainment screen.

Prosecutors alleged the man got drunk and endangered the flight’s safety when he verbally attacked passengers and said he was carrying explosives. They said he also punched the stewardess on her chest.

The Emirati pleaded guilty at Dubai Court of First Instance but asked judge Fahd Al Shamsi to adjourn the case until he had hired a defence lawyer.

When questioned by police and prosecutors he admitted to kicking the plane’s window, banging his head on the entertainment screen and insulting and threatening crew members and other passengers.

Earlier this week, Flydubai confirmed it was investigating after an on-duty pilot failed an alcohol test, causing his flight from Nepal to Dubai to be delayed by 10 hours.

Read: Flydubai flight delayed for over 10 hours after pilot fails alcohol test

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