Unruly Passenger Who Forced Emergency Landing on NYC-Bound Flight Sentenced to Prison - NBC New York

Unruly Passenger Who Forced Emergency Landing on NYC-Bound Flight Sentenced to Prison

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    Unruly Passenger Who Forced Emergency Landing on NYC-Bound Flight Sentenced to Prison
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    A man who interfered with a flight crew on a New York-bound US Airways jet that was forced to divert to Pittsburgh has been sentenced to prison.

    A federal judge sentenced 40-year-old Mapleton, Utah, resident Steven Pectol on Wednesday to a year and a day behind bars.

    Pectol pleaded guilty in November to disrupting a red-eye flight from Phoenix on Oct. 11. The plane made an emergency landing at Pittsburgh International Airport to remove him before resuming its trip to New York.

    Authorities say Pectol ignored instructions to remain in his seat, threw his belongings and fought flight attendants and passengers who restrained him. He faces three years of probation.

    US Airways Group merged in 2013 with American Airlines to form American Airlines Group Inc., based in Fort Worth, Texas.

    The FAA received thousands of complaints about disruptive passengers from 2001 through 2014; only 11 percent were prosecuted, NBC Bay Area has reported. 

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