Delta Flight Lands with F-16 Escort After Threat
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A Delta Air Lines jet from Atlanta to Los Angeles was diverted to Louisiana, escorted by U.S. fighter jets, on Wednesday after a passenger passed a threatening note to a flight attendant, authorities said.
Delta Flight 357, a Boeing 757 with 148 people on board, landed safely at Shreveport Regional Airport at about 3 p.m. local time (4 p.m. EDT), where the passenger was arrested by FBI (news - web sites) agents, U.S. Attorney's spokeswoman Vicki Chance said.
``The passenger handed a threatening note to the flight attendant, she alerted the pilot and he requested clearance to land here in Shreveport,'' Chance said.
The jetliner was escorted by at least two F-16 fighter jets that scrambled to intercept it as it prepared for an emergency landing in Shreveport.
Chance said the man, who she believed was a U.S. citizen, was being questioned by FBI agents and would likely face federal charges of interfering with a flight crew.
She said it was not immediately clear if the man was subdued on the plane by crew members or other passengers and added that she did not know the nature of the threat.
Delta spokeswoman Cindi Kurczewski said the other 138 passengers remained on board the plane and continued on to Los Angeles after refueling.
Shreveport Regional Airport, which operates mainly commuter connections to larger fields like Dallas-Fort Worth, continued to operate despite the emergency landing.
The manager of an aviation fuel and services company at the airport said police and national guard troops surrounded the plane after it pulled up to a terminal gate.