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Texas physician found guilty of disrupting flight

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A federal jury on Friday found a 53-year-old Texas physician guilty of interfering with an American Airlines flight attendant during a direct flight from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport to Maui last March.

Witnesses said that William Clark Turner, of Kemp, Texas, was threatening and verbally abusive toward other passengers during the flight, and then interfered with the ability of a flight attendant to perform her normal duties in order to manage the incident.

After Turner’s actions were conveyed to the pilot, the cockpit was placed on lockdown for the duration of the flight so that no one could either enter or exit the cockpit.

Sentencing is scheduled for June 5 before Senior District Judge Susan Oki Mollway. Turner faces a maximum term of 20 years in prison.

The jury, after the four-day trial, found Turner not guilty of two counts of simple assault.

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  • These inflight incidents continue to increase, mostly the result of alcohol inebriation. Although the story doesn’t mention if this was the root cause, it seems the majority of these incidents are alcohol related. I hope they make an example out of this guy. Most get off with just a slap on the wrist. For those whose behavior involves an unscheduled landing, they should have to pay for the associated fuel costs, which could easily run into tens of thousands of dollars. I’d say this guy’s medical license is at risk, and rightfully so.

        • The airlines still can refuse passage to anyone who appears to be intoxicated or is acting belligerent or is unable or unwilling to obey the instructions of the flight crew……

        • Airlines sell liquor because of the $$. Online reports: “Alcohol is the biggest source of in-flight revenue for US-based airlines”.

  • Alcohol has always been served on airlines. Maybe the increase in disturbances has to do with the continuing reduction in seat space. Passengers in economy class are so crammed together that tensions are inevitable.

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