Passengers Tackle Man Trying to Enter MAS 128 Cockpit

1st Jun 2017

A Sri Lankan passenger, with a history of mental illness, will face two charges against the Crime Aviation Act and will have to appear in the Melbourne Magistrate’s Court today after he tried to enter the cockpit of Malaysia Airlines Flight 128 just before takeoff last night.

The man, who was flying economy class, stood up shortly after the plane took off from Melbourne Airport and started climbing, claiming he has a bomb. He then tried to enter the cockpit, but the other passengers onboard managed to subdue him.

The plane, which was on its way from Melbourne to Kuala Lumpur, returned back around 15 minutes after departure and landed at the remote part of the airport due to the nature of the threat.

Fortunately, after an inspection by the Australian Federal Police, no explosive device was found on the plane.

MAS issued a statement regarding the incident, saying:

MH128, which had departed Melbourne Airport at 11.11pm scheduled to arrive Kuala Lumpur at 5.28am on 1 June, made a turn back to Melbourne after the operating Captain was alerted by a cabin crew of a passenger attempting to enter the cockpit. Malaysia Airlines would like to stress that at no point was the aircraft ‘hijacked’. The passenger was apprehended by security forces. The passengers have disembarked the aircraft in the meantime and have been taken to hotels.

Former Melbourne AFL player Andrew Leoncelli, who was onboard, explained how he tried to tackle the man:

We literally took off, 10 minutes into the take-off, and I was sitting in business class 4A seat, and I could hear this idiot saying that he wanted to go in and see the pilot. The staff were saying ‘Sit back down sir, sit back down sir’. He goes, ‘No, I’m not going to sit back down — I’m going to blow the plane up. The staff screamed out ‘I need some help, I need some help’. So I jumped up, undid my buckle, and approached him.

I said, ‘Mate, what are you effing doing? And he said ‘I’m going to blow the f**king plane up, I’m going to blow the f**king plane up. And I was going, ‘Oh my God, he’s f**king insane’. So, I took a step back. And I said to my friend, ‘Mate this guy’s serious. We’d better f**king do something’. So, I approached him and he ran down the side and then he ended up going down the back of the plane. Then two lads grabbed him and disarmed him and bashed the crap out of him and put hog ties on him and took the giant black thing out of his hand.

Leoncelli also described the device the man was carrying, saying it was “the size of a watermelon”.

He said:

It was huge, it was black and it had two black antennaes coming off it, but it also looked like an iPhone jack. So it could have been just a beatbox thing. I think the guy was just an idiot.

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