Man arrested after airliner returns to LA under F-16 escort
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Airport police took a man into custody Thursday after a flight crew accused him causing a disturbance on an Air Canada Boeing 767 and returned the jet to Los Angeles International Airport under escort by Air Force fighter jets.
The unidentified man was to be handed over to the FBI, said Laura Bosley, an FBI spokeswoman. It was not immediately clear what the man was suspected of doing.
Two F-16 jets escorted the Air Canada flight into the airport, authorities said.
The Pentagon recently confirmed that two Air Force generals have been authorized to order the military to shoot down any civilian airliner that appears to be threatening U.S. cities.
Air Canada Flight 792 to Toronto departed at 12:47 p.m. from Los Angeles with 145 people aboard, including a crew of seven, said Nancy Castles, an airport spokeswoman. Passengers were taken off the jet at the Tom Bradley International Terminal.
”We do know the plane landed without incident. The situation was immediately under control,” said Castles, who didn’t have additional details.
The incident occurred as Gov. Gray Davis was traveling to an airport press conference by shuttle bus from a remote parking lot where all passengers who arrive by car must park since private vehicles were banned from roads serving terminals.
”We were about five minutes out of Lot C when those two jets buzzed the airport, so we knew something was up,” said Davis, who was announcing a call-up of National Guard troops to bolster security and was to take a flight to demonstrate confidence in air travel.
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