Man arrested after climbing onto departing plane’s wing

Markus Mainka

A man was arrested at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, after climbing on the wing of an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 about to take off.

The Boeing 737-900ER, registered as N253AK, was about to operate flight AS1367 from Las Vegas-McCarran International Airport (LAS) to Portland International Airport (PDX) on December 12, 2020, when an unwanted acrobat halted operations.

The intruder invaded the runway by climbing over the airport’s perimeter fence. Pilots warned air traffic controllers when they saw the man walking by the aircraft. But by the time the police arrived, he had climbed on the right wing of the plane. 

Cornered by several officers, the trespasser took off his shoes and socks and attempted to climb onto the winglet, but eventually fell onto the tarmac. After his arrest, the man was deemed mentally unstable and transferred to a medical establishment.

The aircraft returned to the gate for a damage inspection. It eventually took off four-and-a-half hours behind schedule without further incident.


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