Former Delta Air Lines First Officer Jonathan J. Dunn faces up to 20 years in prison after allegedly pulling out a gun in the cockpit and threatening to shoot the captain if he diverted the flight due to a medical emergency onboard.
Report: Delta Air Lines First Officer Threatens To Shoot Captain “Multiple Times” If He Diverted Flight (With A Gun He Was Licensed To Carry In The Cockpit)
There are still more questions than answers, but a disagreement between a Delta captain and his co-pilot led to threats of violence by the first officer.
As noted by the AP, a TSA Inspector General report claims:
- The disagreement was over whether to divert due to a medical emergency onboard involving one of the passengers
- Dunn warned the captain he would be shot “multiple times” if he diverted the flight
- Dunn was authorized to carry a gun in the cockpit as part of the US Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Flight Deck Officer (FFDO) program
“After a disagreement about a potential flight diversion due to a passenger medical event, Dunn told the Captain they would be shot multiple times if the Captain diverted the flight.”
The report does not identify an airline or the route the incident occurred on, but public records reveal Jonathan J. Dunn is a California resident who formerly was a commercial airline pilot for Delta.
Interference with a flight crew is a classified as a felony and punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
It should go without saying that Dunn is innocent until proven guilty, but this whole incident strikes me as the sort of “machoism” that still characterizes many cockpits (I mean, the name cockpit itself…). But even if Dunn was not serious or would have never followed through once he cooled down, there are certain lines that cannot be crossed and this is one of them.
So while reserving final judgment on this specific case, if the fact pattern is as suggested, it seems to me that Dunn is wholly unfit to operate as a commercial airline pilot.
Jonathan J. Dunn, now a former pilot at Delta, faces a lengthy prison sentence for purportedly pulling out a gun and threatening to shoot the captain over a disagreement about whether a medical emergency onboard required a diversion. Stories like this suggest the FFDO program may need to be re-examined.