An Italian pilot threatened to crash his passenger jet if his wife left him, but was stopped minutes before taking off by police. When his wife threatened to leave, the unnamed Italian pilot, in his 40s, sent a text saying he would kill himself along with the 200 passengers on his Rome-Japan flight, The Times reported.
However, the man’s wife alerted officers at Fiumicino airport, who were able to replace the pilot without the passengers’ knowledge. The incident occured in January last year – two months before German pilot Andreas Lubitz deliberately crashed Germanwings A320 into the Alps – and was kept secret until now.
The Italian pilot, who was married with children, was already known to police in Padua, Italy, after his wife reported him for mistreatment. After threatening to kill himself failed to persuade her to stay, he sent the text about deliberately crashing the plane.
Now suspended, he is still undergoing psychiatric evaluation.