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U.S. man in custody after rushing cockpit door

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Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
Atlanta (Georgia)
Air lines

ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- A man was in federal custody Thursday after he tried to break into an airplane cockpit during a flight from South Africa to Atlanta, the FBI said.

Federal agents took James Drake, 53, into custody Thursday morning after South African Airlines Flight 7799 landed at Atlanta's Hartsfield International Airport.

The plane's crew told authorities Drake tried to rush the cockpit door at about 6 a.m. EDT, some two and a half hours before the plane was scheduled to land in Atlanta. He was subdued by two passengers, a deputy sheriff and a psychiatrist, the FBI said.

The FBI said the incident was not an attempted terrorist act. Drake is a U.S. citizen, but his hometown was not immediately known, said FBI spokesman Joe Parris.

Drake faces federal charges that could include interference with a flight crew member.

Drake was arrested in 1987 after a similar incident on a domestic airline flight, the FBI said. He did not stand trial in that case, Parris said.

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