POSTED: Friday, March 9, 2012 - 7:30pm
UPDATED: Friday, March 9, 2012 - 7:34pm
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — Passengers on an American Airlines flight from Dallas to Chicago encountered a bit of turbulence before ever leaving the ground Friday morning.
A disturbance on the plane, apparently sparked by the erratic behavior of a flight attendant, led to a scuffle and return to the gate.
"She was just talking to the pilot and made a comment about the plane crashing," says passenger Kevin Rich.
As the jet taxied toward the runway she apparently continued to talk on the plane's public address system, at times referencing technical and mechanical issues, 9/11 and the airline's bankruptcy filing, rambling for several minutes.
"She's still making comments about wanting to get in the cockpit, 'you've got to open this door, pilot one are you hearing me, pilot two', and then a lot of other incoherent statements trying to get communication with the cockpit," recounted passenger Greg Lozano.
The jet did turn back toward the runway as the situation escalated.
Other crew members wrestled the PA microphone away and asked passengers to help subdue their colleague.
Rich and other passengers say it became clear rather quickly the problem wasn't with the plane.
"She seemed a little off edge, edgy, moody," Rich said.
"Did she have mental breakdown? I initially thought when she made the incoherent statements that she had a mini-stroke or something," Lozano added.
It's unclear what led to her remarks.
Federal agents removed the woman from the plane, and after finding a new crew the flight left for Chicago, landing a bit late, but safely.