FBI allegation that Flight Attendant lit fire on plane (4 Mar 2016)

It is alleged a flight attendant set a fire in a washroom of an aircraft in flight so he would be able to discover it and put it out. The plane was forced to make an emergency landing.

Johnathan Tafoya-Montano was working on American Airlines Flight 1418 from Dallas-Fort Worth to Detroit. As the plane approached Detroit, the flight attendant reported a fire in a lavatory at the rear of the plane. The captain radioed the control tower and was given permission to make an emergency landing. No one was injured when the plane landed.

It is alleged Tafoya-Montano set fire to some paper towels by using a Bic lighter. The flight attendant then stood outside the lavatory for a few moments before “discovering the fire” and then putting it out with a fire extinguisher. Although authorities say they have no motive for what Tafoya-Montano allegedly did, it appears he set the fire in order to take credit for finding it and then putting it out.

Under 18 U.S. Code 32, anyone found guilty of destruction of an aircraft or aircraft facilities can be fined and is liable to imprisonment for up to 20 years.

Have a listen to this recording and note how the emergency was declared, communicated and handled. Not referring to the nature and source of this incident, do you think the communications were adequate for this incident?

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