Two military fighter jets escorted a Honolulu-bound American Airlines aircraft on Friday after a man allegedly tried to break into the cockpit.
The airline said Flight 31, an Airbus A321 aircraft, landed safety at Honolulu International Airport at 11:35 a.m. local time. The flight originated from Los Angeles International Airport.
“Two Pacific Command F-22 Raptors from the Hawaii Air National Guard scrambled this morning in response to a reported disturbance on a civilian airliner making an approach to Honolulu International Airport,” U.S. Navy Commander Dave Benham told CNBC in an emailed statement.
According to the U.S. Pacific Command spokesman, the fighter jets “escorted the airliner to the airport in accordance with homeland defense procedures. Local law enforcement responded once the civilian airliner was on the ground.”
“Due to a disturbance during the flight, the crew requested that law enforcement meet the aircraft upon landing in Honolulu,” American said. “American is in touch with federal law enforcement.”
The FBI identified the man as a Turkish national, Anil Uskanil. FBI special agent Paul Delacourt told reporters Friday the government was preparing a complaint to charge Uskanil for interference with a flight crew. As a precaution, the FBI also said he was taken for a medical evaluation.
The 25-year-old Uskanil was involved in another incident early Friday morning that caught the attention of law enforcement, according to police at Los Angeles International Airport.
The Turkish national was allowed to board his flight for Hawaii despite the morning incident at LAX. The plane departed at 8:34 a.m. local time from LAX with 181 passengers and six crew members on a flight that lasted about six hours.