Off-duty pilot who tried to turn off plane engines may have been on shrooms

The off-duty airline pilot, charged with 83 counts of attempted murder after trying to disable a jet's engines, may have taken shrooms, reports the FBI. In a court appearance yesterday, he said he thought he was suffering a nervous breakdown and thought he was dreaming, and warned others on the flight that trouble was up.

Emerson had been flying in the "jump seat," a foldout seat usually placed behind the captain's seat, according to experts. "I am not OK," Emerson said during the flight after he had been casually engaging the two pilots in conversation, according to the complaint. Both pilots then saw Emerson grab on to the red fire handles, also known as the "T-handles," which are used to extinguish engine fires and shut off all fuel to the engines, potentially turning the plane into a glider, the pilots told federal investigators.

They subdued him and pushed him out to the passenger cabin. Then:

Flight attendants then saw Emerson "peacefully walking to the back of the aircraft," the complaint said. They had received a call from the pilots saying that Emerson was "losing it," and he told one attendant that he "just got kicked out of the flight deck," according to investigators."You need to cuff me right now, or it's going to be bad," he told the attendant. He was cuffed and seated in the back of the plane, according to the complaint, where he tried to grab the handle of an emergency exit before he was stopped by a crew member.