Pilot Threatens to Crash Plane Over Marital Problems - What to Do When Your Spouse Makes Threats

In an investigation report, Great Britain newspaper, The Times, released police documents that state in January 2015 an Italian commercial airline pilot threatened to purposefully crash his aircraft and kill himself and every onboard passenger if his wife left him. The pilot allegedly sent his wife text messages threatening to crash the plane if she moved forward with a separation and intent to divorce. The wife, not identified by name, contacted the police who arrested the pilot.

Neither the airline, type of aircraft, or pilot were identified by name, however, The Times stated the pilot was prepared to fly from Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport (airport code: FCO) to Japan. Given the typical aircraft used on this route, it is estimated as many as 200 passengers would be on board. Britain’s Daily Mail reports the pilot remains in psychiatric care.

It is not uncommon for those going through divorce or marital strife to feel depressed, defeated, or even to suffer from isolated psychiatric episodes. As family law attorneys, we witness these types of behaviors on a regular basis as our clients are dealing with one of the most stressful times of their lives. These feelings are often exacerbated when children are involved and parents are fighting over child custody.

If you feel your spouse or your child’s parent is suffering emotionally and is a danger to themselves or others, you can take steps to get them help and protect yourself and your children. In North Carolina, either party can petition the Court to order a Mental Health Assessment by a doctor, psychiatrist, or psychologist. The Court can grant a detailed examination with specific issues to be addressed by the physician and require follow-up care and even required use of prescribed medications.

Any threats of physical violence should be promptly handed via a Domestic Violence Order for Protection, which can prevent any and all contact, either direct or indirectly, between those in a family relationship.

You can also take steps to limit the other parents child custody time if you believe they are a threat due to emotional issues. A Motion for Emergency Child Custody can be utilized when a parent makes threats towards themselves or others, or where a parent exhibits severe emotional distress which limits his/her ability to parent. The Court can require supervised visitation or even restrict visitation entirely until the parent meets certain medical treatment goals.

If you are concerned about the emotional state of your spouse or your child’s parent, contact us today for a confidential consultation at: (704) 810-1400.

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