Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Passenger Sick Of Sitting On JFK Tarmac Opens Door Goes To Jail

This is something I have thought about doing a thousand times but never did.

An airline passenger sick of waiting out Sunday's weather delays on a Kennedy Airport tarmac tried to open the plane's emergency door -- and wound up taking a detour to Queens court.

Prosecutors yesterday charged fed-up flier Robert McDonald, 60, of Scotland, with reckless endangerment of fellow passengers and criminal tampering.

"Apparently, the defendant wanted to get off . . . the plane, so he opened the emergency exit door," Queens DA Richard Brown said. "Fortunately, members of the flight crew were able to stop him before he could fully open the door and deploy the emergency chute."

There was no indication that McDonald was drunk, authorities said. Rain had delayed the flight, from England to Las Vegas with a Kennedy layover. McDonald managed to crack the door open, but then a crew member stepped in to stop him.

McDonald was released yesterday on his own recognizance. He is due back in court May 18, and faces a year in jail if convicted on the misdemeanor charges.

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