Virgin Australia Hijack Drama: Aussie Passenger Freed from Police Custody After Failed Quest for Indonesian Wife
By Ma Evelyn Castino Quilas | April 28, 2014 6:55 PM EST
Aussie passenger was freed from police custody after his simple quest for his Indonesian wife earned him the gunpoint detention following the mid-air hijack drama on board the Virgin Australia Airlines flight on Friday.
Matthew Christopher Lockley boarded Boeing 737-800 from Brisbane in a miserable state after he lost contact with his Indonesian wife a few weeks prior to the event. He was just trying to track down his better half and spent most of the flight asleep only to wake up in panic and banged the cockpit door by mistake instead of the plane's toilet.
The 27-year old plumber's mid-air antics were initially reported as "hijack" which caused massive panic amidst the flight as the hijack drama unfolds. It affected 139 passengers plus six crew members and caused temporary closure of Bali airport along with flight diversion of other incoming and outgoing planes to nearby airports.
Mr. Lockley endured seven hours of questioning from Indonesia's civil aviation authority officials and was later on announced as released without criminal charges in Indonesia.
In an article from Nine MSN, Mr. Lockly even thanked the Indonesian police and authorities for following procedure and for providing him with lots of care and support. He stated: "I am very grateful for everything they have done. The Indonesian police and Government have been very helpful."
Col Sugiharto Prapto Waluyo, the commander of base operations at Ngurah Rai said that they seriously treated the initial "hijack" report as something serious so Bali policie, airport officials, and military went to hijack mode although it was later corrected as "huge misunderstanding."
"We implemented the hijack arrest procedure as we didn't know if it's a hijacker or not. Our team then caught him, handcuffed him and brought him from the plane," Col Waluyo stated.
Meanwhile, Virgin Australia released a statement on Sunday following hijack drama with the following words: "The captain and crew ensured the highest level of safety was maintained on flight VA41 and followed standard operating procedures."
With Mr. Lockley's release from police custody, he will still fly with Virgin Australia on his way home to Australia. Too bad, his initial quest of pursuing his wife will not materialize on this trip anymore.
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