Aggressive passenger: F-16 jets deployed to guide KLM flight to landing

Koninklijke Marechaussee
Koninklijke Marechaussee. (Photo: Koninklijke Marechaussee / Facebook)

The Dutch Air Force deployed two F-16 fighter jets to escort a KLM flight to Schiphol on Saturday after a 29-year-old American on board the flight from Abu Dhabi to Amsterdam became aggressive. The man was overpowered by the KLM cabin crew and other passengers, RTL Nieuws reports.

The American man lost it when a purser told him to sit down, according to the broadcaster. He started punching everyone around him. Several passengers sustained minor injuries. One, who was hit several times, pressed charges against the man.

The Air Force deployed two F-16 jets to escort the plane to Schiphol. "They flew with the passenger plane from the German-Dutch border to assess the situation", an Air Force spokesperson said to the broadcaster. The deployment of the jets in this case was quite exceptional, she added. F-16s are usually only deployed in one of three cases - if air traffic control can't get contact with the plane, if no flight plan is known for the plane or there's a problem with the transponder, or if the pilot does not identify himself. In extreme cases, the F-16s can shoot the plane from the air. 

The KLM cabin crew arrested the aggressive passenger and handed him over the the Koninklijke Marechaussee, a policing force that works as part of the Dutch military and is responsible for airport security. The man showed disturbed behavior and was immediately transferred to a crisis service. The service decided to have him admitted, according to RTL. 

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