Berlin : An Italian pilot flying a Japan-bound flight allegedly threatened to crash the plane with 200 passengers on board if his wife left him, according to a media report today.
The unnamed pilot, in his 40s, sent a text to his wife saying he would kill himself along with the 200 passengers on his Rome-Japan flight after she apparently threatened to leave, The Times reported on the incident that occurred in January last year.
Police managed to stop the pilot at Fiumicino airport in Rome from taking controls of the flight just minutes before take-off. His wife had alerted authorities after he sent her a text message threatening to commit suicide and kill everyone on board the long-haul flight from Rome, the report said. Another pilot took his place and passengers were not told about the incident that has been kept secret until now, the report said. The Italian pilot sent the text message after his wife announced she was leaving him, and referred to the flight he was due to take that night.
The pilot had previously been reported to police by his wife for mistreatment. He remains suspended and is undergoing psychiatric evaluation, according to reports. This incident happened two months before German pilot Andreas Lubitz deliberately crashed his Germanwings A320 in the Alps, killing 149 people.