Loaded Ukrainian Menaces Delta Flight

By Chrisanne Grise 10/17/12

A bid to open a plane door en route to Salt Lake City is the final act of an epic 50-day bender.

Don't drink and fly. Photo via

There's something about airplanes that lends itself to drunken meltdowns—then again, a Ukrainian flyer arrested by the FBI on Monday had already been binging at ground level for no fewer than 50 days. US resident Anatoliy N. Baranovich's woes began when he went home to Ukraine to build a house, but found he couldn't start construction as planned. So he started drinking instead: "Baranovich stated that he got drunk and stayed drunk for the entire 50 days," wrote FBI Special Agent Cameron Smilie in the affidavit. He "never sobered up” before returning to the US via Amsterdam and boarding a Delta flight from Boston to Salt Lake City. He drank on in the sky, but unsurprisingly "could not specify when, how much or where he consumed the alcohol," reports the FBI. During the descent, Baranovich "regained consciousness" and started yelling in Russian, under the mistaken impression that the wing was on fire. As soon as the plane landed, he got up and ran to the back, attempting to open an emergency exit door. It jammed, and the emergency inflatable slide malfunctioned, causing “extensive damage” to the fuselage. His attempt to open a second door ended when fellow passengers wrestled him to the ground. Baranovich appears in court today on charges of attempting to disable an aircraft and assaulting the crew.

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Chrisanne Grise is a multimedia journalist specializing in health/fitness, lifestyle, travel, bridal, and music. Her work has appeared in print and online for publications such as Martha Stewart Weddings, Parents, FitnessMagazine, Fisher Price, Bridal Guide, Scholastic's Choices, AbsolutePunk.net, Chorus.fm, and more. She is the Senior Editor at The New York Times Upfront. Follow her on Linkedin and Twitter.