Alaska Teen Tried to Crash Plane After Taking Over Controls From Pilot

An 18-year-old tried to end his own life by taking control of a small plane and allegedly attempting to crash it during a flight in Alaska.

Jaden Lake-Kameroff has been charged with terroristic threatening in the 2nd degree, five counts of attempted assault in the 1st degree, and four counts of assault in the 3rd Degree, following the incident onboard a commercial flight between Bethel and Aniak on July 7.

According to Alaska State Troopers, Lake-Kameroff was on the flight with five other passengers when he got out of his seat and took control of the yoke, causing the Cessna Caravan to nosedive.

The pilot was fortunately able to retake control of the plane as the other passengers pulled Lake-Kameroff away. The 18-year-old was then subdued by the other passengers until the aircraft safely landed in Aniak.

According to a sworn affidavit signed by Trooper Jason Bohac, seen by the Anchorage Daily News, the plane was about five miles from Aniak airport when Lake-Kameroff took control and attempted to crash the plane in order to end his own life.

The other passengers said they "thought we were going to die," as it was nosediving to the ground, the affidavit adds.

Alaska State Troopers spokesman Austin McDaniel said that before he took control of the plane, the 18-year-old had asked the pilot if he could have a go at flying and "initially asked to sit in the unoccupied co-pilot seat. Both requests were denied by the pilot."

Lee Ryan, president of Ryan Air, the company that operated the flight, downplayed the incident. He said that Lake-Kameroff, who was in the second row of seats in the small aircraft, had "kind of just reached over the copilot seat and briefly grabbed control of the aircraft" before being pulled away.

"Other passengers I'd say restrained the unruly passenger. But he wasn't necessarily trying to do anything at that point," Ryan told the Associated Press.

Ryan also praised the pilot for handling the incident "very professionally."

Ryan said: "We have different types of training and security training and different procedures, and he said he just moved him back in and landed without further incident, got on the radio and let our company know what was going on."

He added that there could be some changes as a result of this incident.

"All of us airlines share information when it comes to safety, and I think that collectively there might be some safety improvements that come out of this," Ryan said.

Due to the size of the plane, there was no barrier between the pilots' seats and the passengers.

If you have thoughts of suicide, confidential help is available for free at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Call 1-800-273-8255. The line is available 24 hours, every day.)

alaska plane
A file photo of Grant Aviation planes in the town of Bethel on the Yukon Delta, Alaska, on April 19, 2019. A 18-year-old passenger on a small plane tried to end his life when he took control of the plane and caused it to nosedive. MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images