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Airliner makes emergency landing after passenger rejects instructions

Story highlights

  • Fighter jets escorted a United Airlines 757 Thursday night
  • Station says passenger who ignored landing instructions was a man praying in an aisle
  • The aircraft landed uneventfully at Dulles International Airport near Washington, D.C.
  • No charges were filed, and the passenger was taken to a local hospital, official says
A United Airlines plane, escorted by fighter jets, made an emergency landing Thursday night after a passenger refused to follow flight attendant instructions.
Flight 662, a 757 aircraft, was in route from Denver and scheduled to land at Dulles International Airport near Washington, D.C., at 9:10 p.m.
"The flight declared an emergency because a passenger would not follow flight attendant instructions for landing," Megan McCarthy, a United spokeswoman, told CNN in a statement, referring all other questions to law enforcement.
CNN affiliate WUSA reported that the passenger who ignored the instructions was a man praying in the aisle of the jet.
"Out of an abundance of caution we scrambled two F-16s," Lt. Cmdr. Bill Lewis of the North American Aerospace Defense Command said.
The aircraft landed uneventfully at Dulles, according to Rob Yingling, a Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority spokesman.
Police responded, but no arrest was made and no charges were filed, he said. The passenger was taken to a local hospital.