A passenger was injured after jumping off a United Express plane as it was taxiing

A passenger was injured after jumping off a United Express plane as it was taxiing

A passenger on a United Express flight from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City leapt out of the taxiing plane using the emergency slide in a frightening occurrence. Before jumping out of the plane, the passenger attempted to break into the cockpit, activating alarms onboard. The announcement comes as US airlines report an increase in rowdy customers onboard due to an increase in fly traffic.

A scary incident

According to ABC7, the incident occurred aboard United Express aircraft UA5365 on Friday night (June 25th). At 18:55, the plane took off from LAX’s gate and began taxiing towards the runway. However, things did not go according to plan while the jet was in flight.

According to reports, one man passenger approached the front of the plane and attempted to break down the cockpit door. After failing to gain entry, he was able to open one of the cabin doors and activate the emergency slide. He departed the aeroplane at 19:10 local time as a result of this. However, the passenger was injured during the evacuation and was taken to the hospital, where his status is unknown.

United Express plane

The aircraft was taxiing when the incident occurred, likely being the cause the unruly passenger was injured. Photo: Jay Singh | Simple Flying

The passenger was promptly arrested and taken to the hospital by law enforcement. While everything was going on, the plane returned to the gate with its emergency slide down. A jet bridge was used to discharge passengers. Following the incident, the aircraft is seen at the gate with its right-hand emergency slide deployed.

The other passengers were uninjured

SkyWest verified to NBC Bay Area that no additional passengers were wounded during the incident and that the jet returned to the terminal safely. The flight was then rescheduled after SkyWest was able to secure a replacement plane to transport the passengers.

According to data from RadarBox.com, flight UA5365 departed LAX again at 22:36 local time and landed safely in Salt Lake City at 01:25 local time.

United Express plane

The number of incidences of rowdy passenger behaviour has increased dramatically as traffic has increased. Photo: ExpressJet

The incident on Friday is the latest in a long line of safety issues on US planes. Several planes have been diverted in recent weeks owing to abusive or belligerent passengers. Attempts at hijacking have also occurred, with passengers attempting to force their way into the cockpit while the plane is in flight.

FAA cracking down

The FAA has taken notice of the increased number of incidents and is taking swift action. It recently recommended a $65,000 fine for five passengers who were either physically hostile or refused to obey crew orders. However, depending on the seriousness of the offence, consequences for illegal behaviour on a flight can include prison time and heavy fines of up to $52,500.

Because of the rising level of abuse directed at staff, Southwest and American have decided to postpone the resumption of alcohol sales onboard. Airlines will take increased steps to protect their personnel and other passengers onboard until the risk of violent and rowdy passengers decreases. For the time being, expect airlines and the FAA to continue to punish such behaviour harshly.

What are your thoughts on the increasing number of incidences of illegal passenger behaviour? Please let us know in the comments section.

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Cover Photo Credit: United