A July 7th report from the Alaska State Troopers in Aniak confirmed there were no injuries after an 18-year-old man—Jaden Lake-Kameroff—attempted to wrestle the controls of a Cessna Caravan away from the pilot and pushed the aircraft’s nose down. The incident occurred at approximately 1444 local time when the aircraft was about 5 miles from Aniak. There were five other people on board in addition to Kameroff. The Caravan was being operated by Ryan Air under Part 135 from Bethel to Aniak—about 90 miles northeast of Bethel—when, according to the police report, Kameroff, who was sitting in the first row behind the empty co-pilot’s seat, asked the pilot if he could sit in the right front seat and fly the airplane. The pilot denied both requests.
“During the flight, Kameroff got up from his seat and took control of the yoke causing the Cessna Caravan to nosedive,” the trooper’s report read. “The pilot was able to regain control of the aircraft with the assistance of passengers who pulled Jaden away from the yoke. During the incident, a woman grabbed Kameroff after the pilot pushed him away from the controls while passengers held him down.” After a safe landing in Aniak, Alaska State Troopers arrested Kameroff on charges of terroristic threatening in the 2nd degree, as well as five counts of attempted assault in the 1st degree and four counts of assault in the 3rd degree.
An AP story published by Today.com said, “Kameroff reportedly told the trooper later that he’d tried to end his life while on the plane indicating he’s spoken with behavioral health officials before and that those services hadn’t helped.” The trooper’s report also quoted Lee Ryan, president of Ryan Air. “The passenger was in the second row of seats and just kind of reached over the co-pilot seat and briefly grabbed control of the airplane.”