A flight from Washington to Denver had to return to Dulles International Airport after a pilot reported that a passenger became violent, ran toward the cockpit, and had to be restrained.
United Flight 1074 returned after takeoff Monday evening. Local police met the aircraft at the gate and detained the passenger, according to the airline.
The passenger was taken to a hospital for evaluation and has not been charged, airport spokeswoman Kimberly Gibbs said.
Recordings of communications between pilots and air traffic controllers on the website LiveATC.net indicate that pilots turned around after a passenger ran toward the cockpit and had to be restrained by other passengers.
The pilot, in a calm voice, said he was "declaring an emergency due to a passenger disturbance. He's restrained. We need to return to the airport," according to the recording.
The pilot later explained that "we had a passenger becoming violent" and that he "ran toward the cockpit."
Donna Tellam, a computer processing executive who was returning from London, said she was seated in the second row of first class when a man came running from the back of the plane about 15 minutes into the flight. He was yelling profanities and said the plane was going down and it was flying too slowly, she reported.