January 7, 2010 in City

Passenger prompts flight’s turnaround

Tim Fought Associated Press

PORTLAND – A disruptive passenger was released Wednesday after military jets escorted a commercial jetliner bound for Hawaii back to the Portland airport, authorities said.

“At this time, there is no known terrorism link,” the FBI said in a statement.

The man was identified only as a 56-year-old from Salem.

The jetliner turned back about 90 minutes into the flight.

“The captain made a decision to return the plane to Portland due to a suspicious passenger who made threatening remarks and refused to store his carry-on bags,” said Suzanne Trevino, spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Administration.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command didn’t know what kind of disruption the Hawaiian Airlines flight crew was dealing with, spokesman John Cornelio said, so two F-15 fighters were scrambled as a precaution.

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