Onboard disturbances are becoming so frequent that it is hard to distinguish one from another. But last night, another incident occurred when a disturbed passenger wearing a white helmet onboard a Delta flight to Atlanta became so agitated that the captain called for “all able-bodied men” to proceed to the front of the cabin in order to help restrain him.
Delta Flight Diverts After First Class Scuffle With Man Wearing White Helmet
Initial reports suggested it was an off-duty flight attendant who went berserk and tried to open the aircraft door. That is speculation at this point and a characterization of events that Delta Air Lines disputes.
Instead, a Delta spokesperson explained:
Thanks to the crew and passengers of Delta Flight 1730 (LAX to ATL) who assisted in detaining an unruly passenger as the flight diverted to Oklahoma City (OKC). The aircraft landed without incident and the passenger was removed by law enforcement. We apologize to our customers for the delay and any additional inconvenience this caused.
But for more backstory, we turn to a trio of videos onboard uploaded to social media by passengers.
First came a first-hand report from a passenger in the rear of the aircraft, who claimed it was an off-duty flight attendant who caused the disturbance onboard:
UPDATES: According to a passenger the man who tried to take down the Delta airlines 1730 was apparently a flight attendant
— Insider Paper (@TheInsiderPaper) June 12, 2021
Other reports suggested this passenger boarded with white crash helmet and passed a note claiming the man sitting next to him was a terrorist (see picture above). The man then bolted to the front of the plane and made a PA announcement instructing passengers to prepare to put on oxygen masks, before attempting to open the emergency exit door (impossible when the plane is pressurized and at a high altitude).
Another video emerged showing the initial disturbance upfront:
Terrifying moment a man is restrained by passengers & crew near cockpit.
Based on multiple reports & a check of flight tracks, this appears to be @Delta Flight 1730 (LAX – ATL) which diverted to Oklahoma City.
Developing story, details unconfirmed.pic.twitter.com/nlEa0WCkYY
— John Scott-Railton (@jsrailton) June 12, 2021
Finally, a third video emerged with the lights on. A group of men can be seen restraining the passenger as a flight attendants yells at onlookers to return to their seat.
I am on this flight, here’s another look pic.twitter.com/ItsqC37F7H
— Steve Denton (@SRDenton) June 12, 2021
Shortly after, the flight diverted to Oklahoma City.
Stories like this are magnified due to the social media age in which we live, but there is no question they are on the rise and in a very disturbing way. Near-daily high-profile incidents mask that thousands of other flights a day operate without incident, yet are an important reminder of the new age of commercial air travel we live in. Here, a man in a white helmet clearly seemed to be suffering from serious mental issues.
Were you onboard DL1730? Let us know what happened onboard.