A pilot who was authorized to carry a firearm onboard a commercial flight threatened to shoot his co-pilot, according to a recent news release by the Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General.
In the release, the OIG said the flight’s first officer, Jonathan J. Dunn, of Marysville, California, was indicted for threatening to shoot the captain “multiple times” if he diverted the flight during a “passenger medical event.”
Although the incident happened on August 22, 2022, Dunn was indicted last month in a Utah federal court. However, the two-page indictment contains very little information other than charging Dunn with one count of Interference with a Flight Crew.
Felicia Martinez, a spokeswoman with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Utah, told Travel Awaits that her office cannot release more information at this time “without jeopardizing the integrity of the case.”
According to the release, Dunn was authorized to carry a firearm through the Transportation Security Administration’s Federal Flight Deck Officer (FFDO) program.
Through the program, qualified volunteer pilots and flight crew members are deputized by the TSA and authorized to “defend the flight deck of aircraft against acts of criminal violence or air piracy.”
In a statement to Travel Awaits, a TSA spokesperson explained that FFDOs must pass a thorough vetting process as well as a bi-annual firearms qualification test and attend a class at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center.
The TSA spokesperson added that Dunn was immediately removed from the program following the incident last year.
According to multiple news reports, Dunn was employed by Delta Airlines, but the company did not respond to questions from Travel Awaits by the time of publishing this article.
Dunn is scheduled to appear in court on November 16, 2023.