Teen Prisoner Rushes Transport Plane Flight Deck


Authorities in Western Australia say the pilot of a prisoner transport plane had to turn back to the airport after one of three teenage inmates onboard rushed the flight deck. The detainees, all aged 17, were in restraints and started kicking the interior of the plane shortly after takeoff from Broome for Perth. One made a move for the pilot. Fortunately, the teens were outnumbered and the five guards on the plane settled them down quickly. The pilot wasn’t taking any chances, however, and headed for the runway in Broome.

“Once the first detainee had started to sort of kick and thrash, the other two decided that would be a good idea as well, and started to play up and they were also restrained by the youth custodial officers on the flight,” Corrective Services Commissioner Mike Reynolds told media. “Police further arrested one detainee at the airport and took him to the police station. He will be facing court for further charges today.” The three teens were in court before the flight, and youth custodial officers said they were OK to fly. It’s not clear what charges they faced that warranted a plane ride and five guards.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.

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  1. Per Google Maps it’s a 22 hour drive. I say put ‘em in a school bus with no a/c and take them to Perth that way.

  2. Teens aren’t adults, especially in terms of brain development. Which is why most people can find them annoying to downright idiotic at times. Punishment isn’t a very effective strategy, as the side effects are typically long term. Do we need to create more hostile people?

    In this case the most effective tactic would be better restraints, calmly applied without any rancor or righteousness. In short, treat acting out temper tantrums with nonchalance. And effective yet firm limits.

    • I believe your evaluation is completely off base. A 17-year-old is not a juvenile. He is one year away from being able to serve as a soldier in the strictest of environments, and vote. I was a private pilot at age 17 and devoted much of my time to preparing for college. You would have nonchalance be the dominating attitude toward unacceptable tantrums, and more restraints added. This would only serve to miscommunicate that misbehavior is not taken seriously, and better restraints would merely demonstrate that absolute control is the ultimate, easy, and regrettable solution. IMO, this would create more hostility, not less. A person who is misbehaving needs to be told and understand that their actions are a disappointment, not just chained up until he gets over it. “In short”, employing discipline vs. control are two very different approaches, the former making a much more constructive impression.

  3. Blindfold and a cigarette.

    Seriously, teen offenders can be VERY dangerous. One of the worst fights in my police career of over 20 years was with a teenage GIRL. We had a warrant for her arrest and were told she was at the county fair. I spotted her and went to take her in… by myself… after all, it’s a teenage GIRL right? Well, that was a mistake. It was like tangling with a wildcat. Biting, kicking, screaming, fighting. Thankfully help arrived before she kicked my ass. I learned a valuable lesson that day….

    Glad there were enough staff onboard to avert a catastrophe.

    Be careful out there….

  4. Put them in both arm and leg restraints and then have a nurse give them a shot to put them to sleep. very pleasant and non eventful ride.