Man enters active Las Vegas airport runway, climbs onto plane’s wing

Dec 14, 2020

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A bizarre incident took place Saturday at Las Vegas McCarran International Airport when a man entered an operational taxiway and climbed the wing of a flight preparing to take off.

“Around 2 p.m. PST, Alaska Airlines flight 1367 from Las Vegas to Portland was preparing for takeoff when the pilot noticed an individual advancing towards the aircraft,” Alaska Airlines said in a statement. “The pilots notified the tower. Law enforcement was dispatched and able to apprehend the individual. Our guests and employees are safe and we are working with law enforcement. The plane has returned to the gate for a full inspection.”

The gentleman eventually falls while trying to climb the winglet of the plane and it looks like he could have substantially injured himself. He was immediately arrested and information on his condition is not available. This could have ended substantially worse if the pilot hadn’t seen him approaching or if he had made contact with a plane moving at a high rate of speed.

The Alaska flight returned to the gate for a full inspection and departed about four hours late for Portland. The Las Vegas police reported mental illness or impairment was suspected, which is unfortunately pretty obvious from his actions. We hope he receives the care he needs.

If you or someone you know might need mental health assistance, you can visit and find free resources for immediate or long term help.

Featured image by Las Vegas-McCarran Airport.

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