Crime & Courts

Teen grabbed air taxi controls over Western Alaska, troopers say

A teenager was arrested in a Southwest Alaska village after reportedly grabbing hold of an airplane’s controls while the plane was in flight Thursday, the Alaska State Troopers reported.

The state troopers said the 16-year-old, who was seated in the front-right seat of a plane operated by Yute Commuter Air Service, grabbed the pilot’s control yoke shortly after the plane took off, causing it to “enter a steep climb and then a dive towards the ground.”

The pilot was able to regain control of the plane after another passenger subdued the teen, state troopers said. The plane, which had been en route to Bethel from Napakiak, returned to Napakiak, where it landed safely.

No one was injured, the state troopers said.

The 16-year-old, who has not been identified, was taken into custody. The Alaska Department of Public Safety said it is working with the FBI, the Bethel District Attorney Office and state Division of Juvenile Justice to investigate the incident.

A person who answered the phone Saturday at Yute Commuter Air Service said no one was immediately available to comment on the incident.

It was unclear how many people were in the plane or type of aircraft.

A representative from the FBI did not respond to questions on Saturday.

Madeline McGee

Madeline McGee is a general assignment reporter for the Daily News.