Man held after allegedly trying to invade cockpit of plane flying out of Portland

Posted May 10, 2012, at 5:49 p.m.
Last modified May 10, 2012, at 8:33 p.m.

BOSTON — An airline passenger who apparently became disoriented and tried to open a cabin door on a US Airways Express commuter jet from Maine to Philadelphia was arrested Thursday.

Massachusetts state police said 40-year-old Michael J. Ensalaco of Mooresville, N.C., was held on a charge of interfering with a flight crew and was being questioned.

Flight 3801, operated by Air Wisconsin, was diverted to Logan International Airport, airline spokesman Andrew Christie said. A flight attendant subdued the seemingly disoriented man and a passenger watched him until the plane landed safely at 4:30 p.m., he said.

Other passengers deplaned and were interviewed by police. The flight later was canceled and the passengers were being accommodated on other flights, Christie said.

Amee Downing, who answered a phone call to Ensalaco’s Charlotte-area home and said she was a neighbor speaking for his family, said he has had seizures before.

“This is the first time this has ever happened when he’s been traveling on business,” Downing said.

She said Ensalaco works in the food service industry and was headed home from a business trip.

The flight from Portland, Maine, was on a Canadair CRJ200 and had 50 passengers and three crew members.

US Airways Group Inc., the nation’s fifth-largest airline, is based in Tempe, Ariz.

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