Man grabs controls during flight, causing in-air scare

NORWOOD, Mass. — A man grabbed the controls of an airplane from a pilot during a promotional flight in Massachusetts on Friday, causing an in-air scare that prompted a police response, according to authorities and WHBQ-TV.

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Police responded to the Norwood Memorial Airport before noon on Friday after a pilot reported that a man tried to take control of a single-engine Cessna 172 in the air, according to WHBQ. The pilot was an experienced flight instructor with New Horizon Aviation who was giving a promotional flight to a woman and her 60-year-old brother when the incident happened, the news station reported.

“The brother, who was reported to police to be a person with a developmental disorder, grabbed the flight control yoke during the flight and attempted to move it around,” police said in a news release. Authorities added that the pilot was able to keep control of the plane and landed it safely at the airport around 11:45 a.m.

Police later determined “there was no criminal intent,” officials said. No injuries were reported, and no names were immediately released.

A senior official with New Horizon Aviation described the incident to WHBQ as an “undesirable event.”

“Everyone is on the ground safely and healthy,” the official said, according to the news station. “No one was ever in real jeopardy, this was a precautionary measure.”

New Horizon Aviation is a flight school with locations at Norwood Airport and at T.F. Green Airport in Warwick, Rhode Island, WHBQ reported.

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