A New Zealand man says he had to punch a fellow passenger to restrain him from trying to open the emergency exit of a Vietnam Airlines plane flying to Sydney on Monday night.
Auckland resident Mark Ansley and three fellow passengers resorted to brute force to restrain the 27-year-old man from Sydney, who was reportedly trying to jump out of the plane.
“I was having a really good sleep and I just heard screaming, really loud panicked screaming,” Mr Ansley told TVNZ.
“And I sat bolt upright, looked down towards the first bulkhead where the exit row is, and there was a guy actually at the exit door trying to get it open.”
Mr Ansley said he was scared but never thought twice about stepping in.
“A cable tie was handed to me and I couldn’t get it around his hands, he was fighting too much,” he said.
“That’s when I decided to stun him or knock him out, which didn’t work, after a couple of goes.
“But eventually I did stun him enough that he stopped struggling.
“It’s flight or fight isn’t it, and I tend to fight.”
Australian Federal Police confirmed they responded to a request for assistance on Tuesday at Sydney airport.
They escorted the restrained Greenacre man to St George Hospital for medical assesment.
“After the man had undergone an initial medical assessment he was issued a notice … for the offence of endangering the safety of an aircraft,” the AFP said.
The man is required to attend Downing Centre Court on December 16.
The AFP said enquiries in relation to the incident were ongoing.
Aircraft exits which open inwards cannot be opened mid-flight because of pressure inside the cabin.