Hijacking scare accused thought cockpit was bathroom

Virgin Airlines.
Virgin Airlines. Trevor Veale

A TWEED Heads man who sparked a hijacking scare aboard a Virgin Airlines flight to Bali earlier this year says he mistook the cockpit door for the toilets.

He said he was having a panic attack at the time and just wanted to use the bathroom.

Matthew Christopher Lockley, 28, pleaded not guilty this week in the Brisbane Magistrates Court to interfering with a crew member as a result of his actions aboard VA 41 on April 25.

Magistrate Judy Daley, after a two-day hearing, reserved her decision and will hand down her findings on December 12.

Captain Neil Cooper told the court on day one of the trial of the moment he thought his plane was being hijacked.

He said he was in the process of dealing with a medical emergency when a more serious threat emerged.

Captain Cooper said he was in the plane's cockpit when someone started banging on the door.

He said as a result he initiated security procedures and sent a "red code" alert to Indonesian air traffic controllers and asked for a direct and priority approach into Bali.

Indonesian army and police officials boarded the plane when it touched down at Denpasar airport and arrested Lockley.


Topics:  court editors picks virgin airlines

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