Air rage in­ci­dent cost air­line 200,000, court told

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Vancouver Sun - - Classified - BY RANDY BOSWELL

The booze- fu­elled rage of a Bri­tish pas­sen­ger on a Canada- bound flight from Lon­don forced pi­lots to turn the plane around over the At­lantic Ocean and land in Glas­gow, cost­ing Ot­tawabased Zoom Air­lines $ 200,000, a Scot­tish court has heard.

Lawrence Hoareau, a 28- year- old plum­ber from Wem­b­ley, had to be sub­dued dur­ing the June 1 flight af­ter tak­ing a swig from a smug­gled bot­tle of vodka and ac­cus­ing other pas­sen­gers of steal­ing one of his CDs.

“ The pas­sen­ger got un­ruly on board and the pi­lots made a de­ci­sion to di­vert back to Glas­gow, the clos­est air­port,” Zoom spokesman David Cle­ments told CanWest News Ser­vice. “ Clearly that was the right de­ci­sion. Safety is paramount.”

Hoareau pleaded guilty on Tues­day to charges of dis­or­derly con­duct, plac­ing oth­ers in a state of fear and alarm and breach of the peace. He was sen­tenced to 240 hours of com­mu­nity ser­vice dur­ing the hear­ing at a court in Glas­gow.

“ When of­fi­cers boarded and es­corted him from the plane, the other pas­sen­gers cheered,” pros­e­cu­tor Paul Ayre told the court, ac­cord­ing to Glas­gow’s Daily Record. “ The cost of divert­ing the flight was £ 100,000 [ about $ 200,000 Cdn]), made up from land­ing fees and re­fu­elling charges.”

The court heard Hoareau’s par­ents were also on board, and the “ hor­ri­fied” cou­ple con­tin­ued to Canada with the rest of the pas­sen­gers af­ter their son was ar­rested.

Cle­ments said the plane had been headed for Toronto, via Ottawa, when the pi­lots de­cided to di­vert to Glas­gow.

He couldn’t con­firm the air rage in­ci­dent cost $ 200,000, but said turn­ing the plane around was “ the cost of hav­ing a safe fly­ing en­vi­ron­ment.”

Zoom suf­fered a sim­i­lar in­ci­dent in June 2005 when a drunken pas­sen­ger on a Toronto- to- Glas­gow flight be­came abu­sive and ag­gres­sive shortly be­fore touch­down.

In that case, said Cle­ments, flight at­ten­dants were un­able to re­strain the pas­sen­ger and the pi­lots had to “ tackle” him af­ter land­ing the plane.

An ar­rest­ing of­fi­cer in the 2005 case called it “ the most vi­o­lent in­ci­dent of air rage he’d ever seen,” Cle­ments said.

CanWest News Ser­vice

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