Passenger jailed for trying to force his way into cockpit

23/02/2017

A 34-year-old man who twice tried to storm into an airline cockpit during a flight from Bulgaria to the UK has today been sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court to 18 months imprisonment after he pleaded guilty to affray.

Georgi Tenchev, from London, was a passenger on a Thomas Cook airline which was due to leave Borgas to Birmingham on 9 July 2016.

As the he boarded the flight, fellow passengers noticed that he was behaving in an odd manner.

Two hours into the flight, Tenchev left his seat and walked to the cockpit door, which was locked, and began to kick it demanding to be let in as he felt that the plane was going to crash. Cabin crew managed to calm him down and he was returned to his seat.

A short period later, he became agitated and again walked to the cockpit door and began to kick and punch the locked door.

On this occasion, the captain authorised the cabin crew to physically restrain Tenchev until they landed and informed the police.

As the aircraft landed at Birmingham International Airport, police boarded the plane and detained the defendant. A medical team were called to transport him to hospital for a medical check, but on route, he tried to kick the ambulance window in order to escape. Following his medical check, he was taken to a police station where he again tried to escape but he was detained by police officers.

He was later charged with and pleaded guilty to affray

Jason Corden-Bowen, District Crown Prosecutor from West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service, said:

"Georgi Tenchev's aggressive and violent behaviour on board this flight had huge ramifications. The Captain considered diverting the flight and the cabin crew were taken away from their duties to restrain the defendant until the plane landed. The rest of the passengers including young children were extremely distressed by this incident.

"Even when the aircraft landed, Tenchev continued with his erratic behaviour in the ambulance and the police station.

"We hope that the sentence passed today send a clear message that such behaviour will not be tolerated."