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TWA Pilot Disarms Passenger; United, TWA Planes Return to Airport

February 28, 1986

Undated (AP) _ The captain of TWA flight from Miami to New York disarmed a passenger who refused to give up a knife Thursday, while a United Airlines jet bound for Tokyo returned to San Francisco after tower workers saw smoke trailing from an engine.

A TWA pilot who became ill Wednesday on a flight to San Francisco remained hospitalized in Boston on Thursday after his plane was forced to return to Logan International Airport, officials said.

No injuries were reported in any of the incidents.

In New York, FBI agents questioned the woman who had been using a knife to slice salami aboard Flight 348. She was not charged, but was admitted to a psychiatric hospital after being examined by a physician, said Port Authority spokesman Tom Middlemiss.

A flight attendant had asked the woman to turn over the knife. The captain, who was called when she refused, took the knife away from her, the FBI said.

Also Thursday, a United jumbo jet with 146 people aboard returned to San Francisco International Airport after tower workers saw smoke trailing from one engine.

The L-1011 jetliner landed safely about an hour after takeoff, said United spokesman Adrian Delfino. The passengers on Flight 817 were transferred to another jet, Delfino said.

In Boston, the TWA pilot was listed in fair condition after he became ill about an hour after Flight 61 left Logan, said Sally McElwreath, TWA director of corporate communications. She refused to release the name of the pilot.

There were 181 passengers on the flight, which arrived in San Franciso late Wednesday.

The plane carried a co-pilot and an engineer who also is qualified to land a plane, said Nick Lamberti, spokesman for the Massachusetts Port Authority which operates Logan.