Teen ‘threatens to kill’ pilot on flight
A TEENAGER flying on a charter plane bound for youth detention threatened police and moved towards a pilot in what a senior cop said could have been "catastrophic".
The 14-year-old Mount Isa boy was being flown to Cleveland Youth Detention Centre on Thursday after being involved in a weekend long crime spree, when it's understood he threatened to kill the pilot and police on board.
Sources have told the Bulletin the boy tried to get to the pilot before he was restrained by police.
Police confirmed the flight left Mount Isa about 9am Thursday with four juveniles on board as well as a number of officers.
"It will be alleged a teenage boy attempted to damage his seat with his hands and handcuffs and escorting police intervened," police said in a statement.
"During the flight the boy allegedly made threats of violence towards police before unclipping his seatbelt and moving up the aisle.
"Police grabbed him with the boy striking out at officers and spitting at them as they restrained him."
It's understood the boy was a prolific offender.
Townsville Police acting Chief Superintendent Steve Munro condemned the alleged dangerous behaviour, that put not only the people on the plane at risk but the wider community.
"It's abhorrent behaviour, it's completely unacceptable," he said. "I have not been alarmed like that for some time.
"The worst case scenario is quite straight simple. If the child had managed to get to the pilot, and causing the plane to crash, the outcome of that is catastrophic," he said.
Supt Munro praised the heroic actions of the police on board who restrained the teen.
"Having the ability, the skills and the foresight to put the child back into a seat and restrained, is outstanding police work and we should be very proud," he said.
Traeger MP Robbie Katter said the incident was alarming.
"On a small charter flight that would become extremely difficult and that kid would have had no comprehension of how dangerous that situation (was) they were creating," he said.
"They obviously had no thought or care to the compromising position they put everyone in that aircraft (in)."
Mr Katter said this latest incident exposed a need for a detention centre in the northwest.
The plane landed safely in Townsville.
The 14-year-old was charged with three counts of serious assault police and one count each of
endangering aircraft operation (Commonwealth offence), making threats and wilful damage.