Cessna plane
A Cessna commercial flight | Representational Image Reuters/Charles W. Luzier


  • The incident happened on a Ryan Air flight from Bethel to Aniak
  • The Cessna Caravan had six people on board
  • The teen sent the plane into a dive before other passengers subdued him

A Cessna Ryan Air flight was recently sent into a nosedive by a teen who grabbed the plane’s controls about 5 miles from the Aniak airport in Southwest Alaska.

In an online statement by the Alaska State Troopers, it was revealed that 18-year-old Jaden Lake-Kameroff was on the flight from Bethel to Aniak with four other passengers when he got up from his seat around 2.44 p.m. Wednesday and “took control of the yoke causing the Cessna Caravan to nosedive."

The statement said there were a total of six people on the commercial flight, including the teen. It added that the teenager “attempted to crash the plane.”

Lee Ryan, president of Ryan Air, said that the nosedive lasted only a moment and the pilot and passengers were not injured.

Lake-Kameroff has since been arrested and is facing charges of second-degree terroristic threatening, five counts of attempted first-degree assault, and four charges of third-degree assault.

According to the Anchorage Daily News, Troopers spokesman Austin McDaniel wrote in an email that Lake-Kameroff “had asked the pilot to fly the plane earlier during the flight and initially asked to sit in the unoccupied copilot seat. Both requests were denied by the pilot.”

The pilot, who was identified as Joshua Kersch in an affidavit, said that about five minutes after Lake-Kameroff asked to fly the plane, he felt the yoke go forward and saw the teen pushing forward on the controls.

McDaniel said that the plane was about 5 miles from the Aniak airport and in the process of landing when the boy took over the controls. The flight was about 1,000 to 1,500 feet above the ground, Kersch told troopers, according to the sworn affidavit signed by Trooper Jason Bohac.

The statement by the Alaska State Troopers further explained that Lake-Kameroff was subdued by other passengers as the pilot took over the controls and landed at the Aniak airport.

The sworn affidavit revealed that Lake-Kameroff tried to end his life, the Anchorage Daily News reported. It also stated that Lake-Kameroff previously spoke with behavioral health officials but the sessions “weren’t of help.”

The president of Ryan Air said that while the pilot’s quick response helped prevent the nosediving incident to stretch longer, it was “damaging” for air travel in the region, Alaska Public Media reported.

A similar incident occurred on a Yute Commuter Air Service (YCS) in 2019. At that time, Alaska State Troopers reported that a 16-year-old grabbed the yoke shortly after the plane took off from Napakiak.

Troopers said in the report that the teen’s actions that time caused the plane to “enter a steep climb and then dive towards the ground.” No one was injured at the time of the incident, but the teenager was arrested in a Southwest Alaska village one day later.

After news of the incident emerged, YCS Business Manager Keith Henthorn had said the company would still allow passengers in the front passenger seat.

The investigation into the latest incident would involve the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Interfering with flight crew duties is a federal offense. In Lake-Kameroff’s case, federal charges would only be determined after investigations are completed.

small plane Cessna 182
A Cessna 182 plane | representational image. Manfred Schmid/Getty Images