A passenger jet traveling from Baltimore to Austin Monday evening was forced to make an emergency landing in Memphis after a passenger tried to open an emergency exit at the back of the plane.
The incident happened in the sky over Little Rock, Arkansas. The jet, which is owned by AirTran, a subsidiary of Southwest Airlines, landed in Memphis and everyone on board was forced to exit.
"It's the kind of thing you hear about and worry about and it was handled completely professionally and calmly," said Patty Solum as she collected her bags at Austin Bergstrom International Airport.
Solum was one of 120 passengers on board Air Tran Flight 265 that left Baltimore for Austin Monday.
Witnesses say a man tried to open the door of the plane and an alert flight attendant quickly noticed what was going on. With the help of four uniformed military personnel, the man was escorted back to his seat. The service members traded seats with other passengers to sit near the man until the pilot could get the plane on the ground.
According to a Southwest Airlines representative, the man was detained by the FBI for a couple of hours.
"Everyone was really calm and in good spirits and understanding. Luckily there were military personnel on the plane and they were really accommodating. It could have been way worse but it wasn't that bad," explained Tara Hamilton who was traveling with her young son.
No injuries were reported and authorities are trying to determine what, if any, charges will be filed.