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Man accused of trying to open airplane door during flight

PORTLAND, OREGON (AP) – A Portland, Oregon, man who authorities said tried to open an emergency exit door during a commercial flight from Salt Lake City to Portland made his first appearance in court on Monday.

The 31-year-old man has been charged with interfering with a flight crew and attendants for his actions on the February 11 Delta Airlines flight, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.

FBI agent Adam T Hoover wrote in an affidavit in support of a criminal complaint that the man was seen removing the plastic covering on an emergency exit handle and pulled on the handle with his full body weight before a flight attendant intervened.

People on the plane said they heard “a loud air swooshing as the defendant yanked on the door repeatedly,” Assistant United States (US) Attorney Mira R Chernick told the US District Court judge during Monday’s hearing in Portland.

The pilot reported that an alert light went on in the plane’s cockpit. The man was directed to the back of the plane, where he was seated and physically restrained, the affidavit said.

Once the plane landed in Portland, Port of Portland police arrested him.