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Flight attendant sets plane on fire before reporting it to captain and extinguishing it

By Mason White 2:03 PM March 4, 2016
American Airlines plane (illustration) 

By: Feng Qian
(Scroll down for video) A flight attendant was arrested on a charge of destruction of aircraft after allegedly setting fire to a plane as it was flying to Detroit, Michigan, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said.

The FBI Detroit Division announced the arrest of 23-year-old Johnathan Tafoya-Montano.

Tafoya-Montano was working as a flight attendant on an American Airlines flight that was traveling from Dallas, Texas, to Detroit.

During the flight, Tafoya-Montano reported a fire in a rear lavatory on the aircraft, and extinguished the flames.

After the fire was reported to the captain, the captain notified the control tower, and the aircraft, already on approach to land at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport, was granted emergency status.

The aircraft landed without incident, and all passengers and flight crew safely disembarked. An investigation revealed that Tafoya-Montano had set the fire himself, and he eventually admitted to doing so.

Tafoya-Montano has been charged with destruction of aircraft or aircraft facilities and false statements or entries generally.

He was released on bond with conditions. One of the conditions included a prohibition from flying without permission of the court.