A man is being investigated for trespassing after he jumped out of a moving Southwest Airlines aeroplane as it was taxiing around Phoenix’s Sky Harbour International Airport.
The 30-year-old man jumped out of a door at the back of the plane on 4 December and then locked himself in the fire department nearby, said captain Todd Keller with the Phoenix Fire Department.
The captain of the plane hit the brakes and contacted air traffic control, according to Dan Landson with Southwest Airlines.
Authorities arrived and the rest of the passengers got to their gate.
Keller said that the situation did not escalate and the fire department was able to handle the man.
“(The Phoenix Fire Department) were in constant communication as soon as this person was on the runway,” said Keller.
“Sky Harbor control tower had eyes on him the entire time and that’s how they notified us. It just shows you how much of a well-oiled machine they are out there.”
The motive for the man’s escape remains unknown, however, Phoenix Police were able to identify him as Daniel Ramirez and he is being investigated on suspicion of two counts of felony trespassing.
“After a few minutes firefighters were able to get the adult male to unlock the door where he was then evaluated, treated, and transported to a local hospital for a lower extremity injury,” said Keller.
The extent of Ramirez’s injury remains unclear, however, a spokesperson from Southwest Airlines confirmed, in a statement to Simple Flying, the details of the story.
“Flight 4236 safely arrived in Phoenix from Colorado Springs Saturday morning when initial reports indicate, that while the flight was taxiing to the gate, a Customer onboard exited the aircraft via a rear galley door,” a spokesperson for the airline said.
“The flight’s captain stopped the aircraft and notified air traffic control. Local authorities responded to the situation and shortly after the flight continued to its designated gate with all remaining customers and crew.”
Dealing with unruly passengers is a growing issue among US airlines, with over 5,400 reports of passenger unruliness by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) this year.
Featured image: iStock/Angel Di Bilio