Man Climbs Wing Of Alaska 737 In Las Vegas

Filed Under: Alaska

On Saturday Alaska Airlines flight 1367 from Las Vegas to Portland was delayed by well over four hours, after a man jumped the perimeter fence at Las Vegas McCarran Airport, and then climbed onto the wing of a Boeing 737.

Authorities were quickly called. First the man did some sort of ritual, or something, and then he crouched and crawled along the wing, to avoid getting tased.

Eventually police got onto the wing through the emergency exit, after boarding the plane. At this point the man tried to climb up the wingtip, thinking he’d somehow get away. The man ended up falling to the ground pretty hard.

Alaska Airlines issued the following statement regarding the incident:

Around 2 p.m. PST, Alaska Airlines flight 1367 from Las Vegas to Portland was preparing for take-off when the pilot noticed an individual advancing towards the aircraft. The pilots notified the tower. Law enforcement was dispatched and able to apprehend the individual. Our guests and employees are safe and we are working with law enforcement. The plane has returned to the gate for a full inspection.

Hopefully the man wasn’t seriously injured. Clearly he has some mental issues, so hopefully he can get the help he needs, as this is sad all around.

This is the first time I recall seeing something like this in the US. Last year we did see a man try to climb the wing of an Azman Air 737 in Lagos. However, it appeared he was attempting to hitch a ride, without understanding how planes work. He even brought a suitcase, and tried to store it in the engine for the flight.

And speaking of something on the wing of planes, then there’s of course The Twilight Zone, but I’d say that’s a bit different than the above two situations, eh?

Comments
  1. He’s got nothing on the Jet Blue flight attendant that quit over the PA took a liquor miniature and slid down an emergency slide in the 2000s. There should be a movie about it.

  2. Would have been better leaving him on the wing alone in my opinion. Having police there turned the situation worse, predictably.

  3. He was just expressing his profound love for Alaska Airlines. I mean, in that first photo…he’s, um…clearly…lets just say “smitten”. He should have saved this stunt for Valentines Day.

  4. @AdamH I’m glad I’m not the only one who thought this! Those 737 wing tips are no joke. Now imagine this person scaling and even bigger 767 wingtip.

  5. Ben D is on the right track here–did you see the blatant violation of social distancing protocols by the police when he fell to the ground? Should have been left alone to do his thing. Bet none of the people on that flight had a valid reason for traveling and spreading a deadly virus during a pandemic, so no big deal if their flight is cancelled.

  6. Actually he was a passenger. He found out he was flying on a 737-max and was trying to escape

  7. When they make the movie, that character will remove the gas cap, jump off the wing, light a cigarette, toss the lighter on to the spilt aviation fuel and say ” Yippie kai yea Mother F*$%#@r”…
    What? You mean it has already been done before?

  8. I disagree with @BenDover and @jcil. If he has mental issues he needs help. But the police should’ve been there and I’m glad they were. In the post 9/11 world, such situations need law enforcement. And people shouldn’t be ‘left’ to do their thing on airport tarmacs, runways, and terminals. Beyond being a security risk, I’m sure none of the passengers liked being delayed, or any of the ground staff who had to inspect the plane, or the crew or the pilots who had the schedules messed up. The airlines lose money due to delays and they’re already short strapped because of COVID. So this man should get help. And police should ensure that airports don’t become circuses or unsafe areas where people are “left to do their thing” in general

  9. ‘And police should ensure that airports don’t become circuses or unsafe areas where people are “left to do their thing” in general’

    @Norma J – unfortunately, that ship has sailed long ago.

  10. I don’t think a taser would have been a good idea. Those wings have fuel tanks that probably don’t do well with a high voltage taser; jeopardizing the passengers.

  11. Not sorry he fell hard to the ground. I’m really not. I feel sorry for the delayed pax. I feel sorry for the airline. I feel sorry for police who have to deal with these types. But I do not feel sorry for the idiot.

  12. Norma J, I do not suggest that the police couldn’t be involved at all. But why have them on the wing? That will clearly escalate the situation, as it did. He’d have come down in the end of his own accord, likely without injuring himself. As it was, he injured himself and the policemen were in unnecessary danger moving around at height on a wing, which I doubt they are trained to do.

  13. @DickBupkiss The police enforce laws, not basic human decency. I agree that our airports and terminals have become circuses. But that’s the fault of passengers. Unless they overtly break laws, the police cannot do anything. In this case, the man broke several laws by presumably opening the emergency exit door and proceeding with whatever that transpired on the aircraft’s wing.

  14. @BenDover I’m sure the police were following some SOP. Either because they wanted to block off access to the rest of the passengers to keep them safe from any threatening actions of this man and/or to resolve the situation quickly. Either or both reasons are fine with me. If I was a passenger on this flight, I would be equal parts infuriated and anxious to be stranded on an aircraft that can neither take off nor return to the gate for inspection until his Royal Highness decides to come down from the aircraft’s wing. The passengers’ money, patience, and time should not be held hostage by this man. Where you see escalation, I see resolution. The quicker he got off the aircraft’s wing, the quicker things could be resolved. I hope he got medical treatment but he was likely going to be hurt the moment he stepped out on the plane’s wing. It isn’t the police’s fault for not delaying the inevitable.

  15. @Ben Dover What would be the better option? Leaving him there and what? Delay the flight just to keep him entertained for his stunt?

    It’s good that he hurt himself, at least there’s a consequence to his foolish action

  16. @Greg, In my opinion, that would be the better option. Leave him there and wait for him to come down of his own accord. Evacuate the passengers and crew if there is a threat to them while he is on the wing. Once he comes down of his own accord, let him face the consequences of his action.

    I don’t think it’s good that he hurt himself. He’s someone’s son.

  17. @Ben Dover’s opinion makes me think that this man is actually Ben Dover. Nice to see that prison has WiFi. Or is it the facility they have you in? Glad you’re getting help/are locked up. Please don’t fly again.

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