Turkish man behind in-flight scare says he was hallucinating, trying to catch a butterfly

Published: Sep. 27, 2017 at 5:06 PM HST|Updated: Oct. 4, 2017 at 7:59 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A 25-year-old Turkish man who charged the cockpit of a flight to Hawaii last year said he was hallucinating and trying to catch a butterfly at the time.

Anil Uskanli, 25, pleaded guilty Tuesday to interfering with a flight crew. He said he was ill and now realizes there was no butterfly on the plane.

The FBI says Uskanli was already making trouble – and believed to be intoxicated – when he boarded an American Airlines flight in Los Angeles that was bound for Honolulu in May.

Muttering and agitated, Uskanli later wrapped a blanket around his head and carried his laptop towards the front of the plane, authorities say. Trained that laptops can be disguised bombs, the flight crew blocked Uskanli with a service cart before he entered the first class cabin.

While he was restrained, the captain locked down the flight and alerted authorities. The flight was escorted the rest of the way to Honolulu by military fighter jets.

A mental examination conducted on the U.S. mainland led to a declaration that Uskanli was competent enough to stand trial.

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