Passengers of TAM airlines flight 8047 en route from Montevideo, Uruguay to Sao Paulo, Brazil on February 12th have gone thru terrifying moments when the plane started to sway violently. The violent shakes of the Airbus A320-200 aircraft were due to a 28 years old passenger attacking the pilot. Apparently the young man, reported by some passengers to wear TAM Airlines photo id badge rushed to the front of the plane some 30 min into the flight and entered the cockpit thru the door that wasn’t locked at the time. After the pilot was attacked and struggled to control the plane he made announcement to the passengers asking for help. Several passengers came to the cockpit and tried to grab the intruder, he fought back fiercely causing minor injuries to 6 passengers.
After the passengers incapacitated the attacker in over 10 minutes long fight the plane made an emergency landing in Porto Allegre 20 minutes after the incident took place. The man was handcuffed, removed from the plane and taken to a mental institution by the police. According to the police statement the reason for man’s behavior was a psychotic attack. The plane continued the journey to the destination arriving safely with 2:45 hours delay.
TAM airlines press office provided no details on the incident. It is unclear at this point if the cockpit doors were unlocked or the man entered the cockpit acting as TAM employee.