Disrupted Hawaiian Airlines flight lands on Maui - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Disrupted Hawaiian Airlines flight lands on Maui

Judy Casey Judy Casey
Kristen Adams Kristen Adams
Peter Forman Peter Forman

By Mari-Ela David - bio | email

KAHULUI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Home at last, after a fighter jet escort - a Hawaiian air flight at the center of a security scare has finally arrived on Maui.

And for the first time, we hear from passengers about the disruptive man who was hauled off the plane in handcuffs.

It was a grueling day for many of the 200-plus passengers and crew members aboard Hawaiian Airlines Flight 39.

After 11 hours on the plane, they finally landed at Kahului Airport Wednesday night.

The plane flew out of Portland Airport around 8:00 a.m. Hawaii time.

But on its way to Maui, the Transportation Security Administration says a 56-year-old man from Salem, Oregon made threats and refused to stow his carry-on luggage. One passenger says he seemed agitated.

"Prior to that, before boarding, I didn't feel real comfortable with him," said Judy Casey, a Flight 39 passenger.

"I'm so tired. We came to Portland and we came really low over the water, like we were making a water landing. Oh my gosh, they said it was engine problems or something," said Kristen Adams, a passenger.

That's what passengers say they were told when the Captain decided to turn the plane around, back to Portland.

Shortly after, two F-15's showed up to escort the aircraft.

After landing, officers escorted the man and a woman he was traveling with, off the plane.

Flight 39 refueled, then took off again for Maui.

"More than anything after the Dec. 25 incident we see the people in government primed to do something, they don't want to under react. I think it's just a matter of everybody really being on their toes right now," said aviation expert Peter Forman.

Federal authorities say they interviewed the unruly passenger but did not arrest or charge him. The FBI says he is not linked to terrorists.

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