The Axe man ......
Just an addenda comment to an old story: the first officer from the "axe-flight" was also the first officer in the "lightning-strike-flight"! (see below) Two very close calls, just in a year or so. This first officer got an international "pilot-hero-award" two years in a row. Apparently he's the only one who's ever gotten two of these awards.

Do you remember the story about a guy running amok with an axe, aboard a small plane in northern Norway last year, almost causing it to crash....... the guy involved now has 17 years to think about it.

from Reuters ....

"March 10, 2005
A Norwegian court sentenced an Algerian man to 17 years in jail on Thursday for running amok with an ax aboard a small plane in northern Norway last year and almost causing it to crash.

Bouteraa, 34, had argued he should be acquitted, saying he had been temporarily insane when he attacked and injured the two pilots on the Kato Air flight. The plane was carrying nine people including the pilots and Bouteraa.  Bouteraa said he would appeal.

The court ruled that Bouteraa was neither psychotic nor suffering from other mental illness, NRK public radio said. Bouteraa had said he was depressed after his asylum application had been rejected by Norwegian authorities. Two other passengers overpowered Bouteraa and the pilots managed to land the plane with the cockpit splattered with blood.

Bouteraa denied he had planned the attack, saying he had a small ax in his bags because he had planned to go fishing. The luggage of the passengers on the flight, from the town of Narvik to Bodoe, was not checked.

The 17 year sentence matched the demands of the prosecutor who had accused Bouteraa of attempting a suicide attack. Norway's stiffest sentence for any crime is 21 years."

Passenger attacks pilots with an axe!

A passenger (a Algerian in his thirties) apparently has attacked the cockpit crew of the small Norwegian airline Kato air ( with a fire-axe which is part of the plane's emergency equipment. The axe was taken from its place in an overhead handluggage compartment Other sources says that this axe is kept in the cockpit, only accessible to the pilots. This is supposed to have happened during approach into Bodo Airport (BOO). Reports of blood in the cockpit/cabin. "Somebody shouted; come help us!" Two of the passengers managed to pull the big man out of the cockpit, and to keep him controlled. One of the passengers says that the plane was moving about, and descending, only recovering "thirty meters from the ground". The pilots have been taken to hospital, at least one bleeding severely from the head. Not life threatening injuries. One of the passengers is also injured. The attacker seems to have been taken away in a straightjacket, resisting the arrest. Both crew, plus 7 passengers, were taken to hospital with head wounds.
 The plane is a Dornier 228. Link to Norwegian papers:


 The plane departed Narvik Airport, a small airport that will not get equipment for scanning and safety checks before 1.1.2005.  The Dornier 228 didn't have a "bulletproof" cockpit door either. At least until recently it has been customary for the main airline in northern Norway (Wideroe) to keep the cockpit door open during flight. I guess those days are over now.

Last December a Dornier 228 operated by Kato Air was hit by lightning, causing the elevator to be inoperable. The pilots managed to fly the aircraft to the destination airport by using only elevator trim. The plane crash-landed at the very beginning of the runway, following a go-around.

The D228 doesn't in fact have a cockpit door, that is its always open - no way to close. Police also now saying it was not the crash ax, but an ax carried on board by the perp.
Pilot says the attack commenced when the aircraft was on finals, at approximately 4000ft.
They plunged to 100ft due to the Algerian pushing the control column forward.
Nose up pitch was gained with other means (perhaps elevator trim/????) during recovery from the dive.
After the battle between the attacker and passengers, the column was released. This resulted in violent nose up pitch attitude change with a climb to 1200ft, where the aircraft stalled, and nosed down again. The aircraft was subsequently recovered, and after the attacker had been subdued, was landed safely.

Both pilots lost their headsets, and weren't able to establish contact with ATC during/after the incident. Security checks that should have been implemented on all regional airports in Norway on May 5th this year, were postponed until the end of the year. After this dramatic happening, improvised security checks have now been implemented country wide.


Passenger attacks pilots with axe
A plane at Bodoe airport, Norway, after an attack on board
The man attacked as the plane was about to land at Bodoe
A man has been arrested after attacking two pilots and a passenger with an axe on an internal flight in Norway.

The pilots managed to bring the plane in to land safely, and were then taken to hospital with the injured passenger.

A police prosecutor said the attacker may have boarded with the axe. Earlier it was thought he may have taken it from the plane's emergency equipment.

The plane was on a 20-minute flight between the northern towns of Narvik and Bodoe when the attack took place.

"There were no security controls at Narvik airport today" where the plane took off, Bodoe prosecutor Bjarte Walla told BBC News Online.

Norway is due to install improved security measures for internal flights by 2005.

"From the new year these small regional airports have to have security checkpoints," Mr Walla said.

No separation

The plane was a 20-seater Dornier 228 operated by the small regional airline Kato Air, with seven passengers on board.

The plane is said to have no separation between pilots and passengers.

The man attacked just before 1100 (0900 GMT) "as the plane was about to land at Bodoe - it had begun landing procedures", Mr Walla said.

He said the pilots both suffered head injuries, though they were not thought to be life-threatening.

The man was described as an Algerian in his 30s.

"We don't really know anything about a motive," Mr Walla said. "We are not ruling any possibility out."

He said the incident was dealt with quickly and there was no impact on other flights in and out of Bodoe airport, which serves as a hub for smaller airports in northern Norway.