TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - A passenger on board the flight that went through an emergency diversion to Tucson International---complete with an F-16 escort, gave us all an inside view of what went on on the flight.
Ryan Healy sent KGUN9 video of Tucson Airport Police arresting the man who prompted the diversion and removing him from the plane. He talked by phone with KGUN9 On Your Side's Craig Smith and gives us a good idea of what went on in the plane.
Ryan Healy was on a business trip, when he was caught up in a situation so wild he looked out the window and saw F-16s out his airliner window.
Craig Smith asked: What's that experience like?
Healy says: "It's a little harrowing. Definitely not something you want to see when you're trying to get home. (he laughs)"
He remembers the man whose behavior triggered the emergency landing.
“We noticed a guy who was walking up and down the aisles and he was obviously very anxious and uncomfortable and then we noticed the flight attendants trying to direct him back to his seat unsuccessfully.”
He says he and his seat mate kept an eye on the man.
Right about then he saw an alert online that the flight was diverting to Tucson.
Craig Smith asked: "Were you able to hear what the man was saying?
Healy: “No. But I did talk to a flight attendant who told me he made threats against the aircraft."
Healy says the flight crew did not tell the passengers what was going on.
"There was some kind of announcement about potential for turbulence and we should all fasten our seatbelts but we knew there was no turbulence and it was something else. The captain eventually came on and told we were being diverted to Tucson due to an operational necessity but otherwise there was no indication from the crew what was actually happening."
He says the man was up front near the flight deck but did not try to get in.
An older man we later saw during the arrest tried to convince the man to sit down but couldn't. Healy says he and his seatmate guided the pair to their seats.
The plane made a quick landing and Ryan Healy was getting video of the arrest and heading into a terminal full of police and Border Patrol responding to the incident.