Passengers leapt to the aid of the pilot of a Brazilian jet, subduing an attacker on a flight from Montevideo to Sao Paulo, a officials said Sunday.
The incident took place Saturday on TAM flight JJ8047 from the Uruguayan capital to Sao Paulo, Brazil.
"A man, apparently mentally troubled, tried to attack the pilot in the cabin; that was where the incident took place and that was when the plane swayed a little," said Sebastian Torres, a member of the
Uruguayan government's industry delegation who was en route to China when the incident took place.
After the incident the attacker came out "and walked down the aisle... Then some passengers tried to grab him and he resisted, and struggled with them" before he was handcuffed, Torres said by phone from Paris on a layover on his trip to China.
Torres said that other passengers on the plane believed that if the man was "not a member of the TAM crew, he was with TAM in some capacity."
The plane had to make an emergency landing in Porto Alegre. It then flew on to Sao Paulo where the suspect was detained, Torres said.
TAM did not immediately respond to calls from AFP on Sunday.