In-Flight Distress: Delta Co-Pilot Allegedly Threatens to Shoot Plane's Captain Amid Dispute Over Unwell Passenger, Federal Authorities Report

In-Flight Distress: Delta Co-Pilot Allegedly Threatens to Shoot Plane's Captain Amid Dispute Over Unwell Passenger, Federal Authorities Report

Former Delta Air Lines co-pilot Jonathan J. Dunn is facing serious legal repercussions after allegedly threatening to shoot the plane's captain during a flight in August 2022. Dunn has been indicted on a federal charge of interfering with a flight crew, and the incident has led to his termination from the airline, according to officials.

The indictment, filed in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City on Oct. 18, asserts that Dunn assaulted and intimidated a crew member, impeding their ability to carry out duties. The document also alleges the use of a weapon during the assault. The incident reportedly occurred after a dispute over diverting the flight to attend to a passenger with a medical issue.

The U.S. Department of Transportation Inspector General's office revealed that Dunn, who was the co-pilot on the flight, threatened to shoot the captain during the disagreement. Delta Airlines confirmed Dunn's termination and emphasized their cooperation with the ongoing aviation authority investigation.

Pilots are allowed to carry firearms under the Federal Flight Deck Officer program, established after the 9/11 attacks. However, the Transportation Security Administration promptly removed Dunn from the program and confiscated his equipment upon learning of the alleged crime.

The TSA clarified that participation in carrying a firearm is voluntary for crew members, and mandatory training is required before being permitted to bring a firearm on board. The program aims to safeguard the flight deck against criminal violence or air piracy.

Jonathan J. Dunn appeared in court on Thursday, represented by attorney John Huber. Court records indicate that Dunn has not entered a plea in the case, and his arraignment is scheduled for Nov. 16. The legal proceedings continue as authorities delve into the details of this alarming incident.

If found guilty under federal law, Jonathan J. Dunn, the former Delta Air Lines co-pilot facing charges for allegedly threatening to shoot the plane's captain, could potentially face a sentence of up to 20 years in prison. The severity of the charge underscores the gravity of the alleged actions during the August 2022 incident.

As legal proceedings unfold, the outcome of the case will determine Dunn's fate, and the potential consequences highlight the serious nature of the accusations against him. The legal process will continue to shed light on the details surrounding this alarming incident.

For more updates and coverage on this matter, readers can follow Natalie Neysa Alund, a senior reporter for USA TODAY, who is closely monitoring the developments in this case. She can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and her insights can be followed on Twitter at @nataliealund.

In conclusion, the legal implications for Jonathan J. Dunn, the former Delta Air Lines co-pilot charged with threatening to shoot the plane's captain, carry substantial weight. If convicted under federal law, Dunn could face a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison. The severity of the charge underscores the gravity of the alleged threat made during the August 2022 flight.

As legal proceedings continue, the unfolding case will determine the course of Dunn's future, and the potential consequences emphasize the serious nature of the accusations against him. The justice system will play a crucial role in unraveling the details surrounding this alarming incident, shedding light on the events that led to Dunn's termination from Delta Air Lines.

For ongoing updates and comprehensive coverage of this case, readers are encouraged to follow Natalie Neysa Alund, a senior reporter for USA TODAY, who is actively monitoring and reporting on the developments. Her contact information is provided for those seeking further insights into this unfolding legal matter.

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