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Man detained after storming cockpit

By Ed Brock

A psychiatrist and a sheriff's deputy had to restrain a man who stormed the cockpit of a South African Airlines plane bound for Atlanta Thursday morning.

James Drake, 53, a United States citizen, was charged with interference with a flight crew member in connection with the incident that occurred around 6 a.m. Thursday on SSA Flight 7799 from Cape Town to Atlanta, according to FBI Special Agent Joe Parris.

After the two other passengers, one of whom was a sheriff's deputy from Reno, Nev., restrained Drake the plane landed safely at Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport around 8:30 a.m. FBI agents arrested Drake and he appeared in United States Magistrate Court in Atlanta the same day.

He was sent for psychiatric examination. The incident is not believed to be an act of terrorism.

Drake was arrested in 1987 for a similar incident, according to Parris. Reportedly in that incident Drake held the pilot of another plane hostage with an ax.