Inflight behavior blamed on hallucination
HONOLULU — A Turkish man whose inflight behavior prompted fighter jets to escort a plane to Honolulu said he was hallucinating and trying to catch a butterfly at the time.
Anil Uskanli pleaded guilty Tuesday to interfering with a flight crew. He said he was ill and now realizes there was no butterfly on the plane.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Brady says Uskanli was acting oddly on the American Airlines flight from Los Angeles, including walking to the front of the plane with a blanket wrapped around his head. Brady said crew members feared his laptop contained explosives, prompting bomb-threat procedures.
Tuesday’s hearing was delayed by several hours because of problems with the Turkish interpreter. The hearing eventually proceeded without the use of an interpreter because Uskanli reads and speaks English.