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Pilot cited in alleged disturbance as passenger


Citizen Staff Writer

The America West pilot who allegedly became unruly as a passenger last week, prompting the airplane to make an unscheduled landing in Tucson, has been charged with disorderly conduct, police said yesterday.

Brantley G. Myers Jr., who reportedly threw magazines and shouted shortly after takeoff on the July 12 flight from Phoenix to Austin, Texas, was cited Tuesday on two counts of misdemeanor disorderly conduct.

Sgt. John Ivanoff of the Tucson Airport Authority Police, the agency that arrested Myers, said the officers delivered the citations to Myers at Kino Community Hospital, where he was being held for a 72-hour psychiatric observation.

Myers, a former Air Force pilot who lives in Prescott Valley, was released from police custody but will have to appear in Pima County Justice Court, Ivanoff said.

Officials at Kino Community Hospital would not say yesterday whether Myers, 51, was still in the hospital, but a spokeswoman for America West said he is still receiving treatment.

“Mr. Myers is in a treatment facility and will be there for an extended amount of time,” said Janice Monahan, a spokeswoman for the airline.

According to a police report, Myers began yelling, throwing books and going “berserk” shortly after takeoff. He did not attack anyone, police said, but the captain landed in Tucson for the passengers’ safety.

Ivanoff said police had to escort Myers from the airplane because he refused to get off when they asked him to. Two passengers were upset enough to press disorderly conduct charges against Myers, Ivanoff said.

The Federal Aviation Administration’s investigation into the incident could take several months, said Roland Herwig, a spokesman for the agency’s Southwest region office in Oklahoma City, Okla. In the meantime, he said, the agency has no comment about the case.

The union that represents America West’s pilots, the Airline Pilots’ Association, also is investigating, said spokeswoman Yvette Freeman. Freeman said the union’s main reason for investigating is so it can help Myers if his job is threatened.

Monahan declined to comment yesterday on whether the airline planned to take any action against Myers.

“We just need to make sure that Mr. Myers is getting the care he needs,” Monahan said. “Right now our concern is with our fellow employee.”

Myers’ 18-year-old son, Brendan, said in a telephone interview this week that his father’s job didn’t seem to be causing him a great deal of stress. He has said his father was struggling with personal problems, including the recent suicide of a friend and the breakup of his marriage.

According to court records, Brantley Myers’ wife, Brenda, filed a divorce petition in Yavapai County Superior Court on May 26. On June 1, she requested a protective order against her husband, claiming he had been threatening her because he was angry about the proposed property settlement, court records show.

The Associated Press contributed information to this article.

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