Orange County

Child’s prank causes hijacking scare on Seattle flight landing in Orlando, sources say

ORLANDO, Fla. — Passengers are sharing with Channel 9 what caused a hijacking report on an inbound flight to Orlando on Sunday afternoon.

Alaska Airlines Flight 16 from Seattle was stopped on the tarmac for an hour during the investigation.

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No passengers are hurt, but sources said a message that prompted police to board this plane came from a 10-year-old.


Airport officials said reports indicate that there was a prank and no active threat, officials said.

Officials received word that an inbound flight from Seattle may have been hijacked.

Sources told Eyewitness News the pilot did not respond to the airline after the report was made.

Passengers said nothing appeared to be out of the ordinary until the plane landed.

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“We were pulling in and the captain of the intercom, let us know that there was a non-credible threat,” said passenger Logan D’Amato.

A threat that was easy to track down.

After an hour, Orlando police escorted a mother and her children off the airplane.

Sources said a threat came from a message sent via AirDrop.

“The mother was bawling clear, profusely apologizing to everybody,” D’Amato said.

In this case, charges likely won’t be filed.

The minimum age for federal crimes that usually apply to planes is 11.

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Alaska Airlines released the following statement:

“After Alaska Airlines flight 16 from Seattle landed in Orlando, it parked remotely because of a potential threat that was later deemed non-credible. Police boarded and cleared the aircraft. The plane continued to its gate and passengers deplaned as normal. We take safety seriously and we apologize for the inconvenience for our guests.”

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