Air Transat passenger makes Nunavut court appearance

Darren Edward Cosby, 39, faces charges related to March 27 emergency landing in Iqaluit


Darren Edward Cosby, 39, walks with a toque covering his face as he leaves a March 28 bail hearing at the Nunavut Court of Justice in Iqaluit. (PHOTO BY SAMANTHA DAWSON)

Darren Edward Cosby, 39, walks with a toque covering his face as he leaves a March 28 bail hearing at the Nunavut Court of Justice in Iqaluit. (PHOTO BY SAMANTHA DAWSON)

(Updated, March 29, 12:15 p.m.)

A passenger on a March 27 Air Transat flight from Vancouver to London who is alleged to have been so unruly and disruptive that the flight made an emergency landing in Iqaluit, is set to spend Easter at the overcrowded Baffin Correctional Centre.

Darren Edward Cosby entered the Nunavut Court of Justice on March 28 for a bail hearing in connection with charges related to that incident.

Dressed in a blue polar fleece and wearing no gloves in -17 C temperatures, Cosby stepped out of a police van and walked up the steps to the Iqaluit court house using a black toque to hide his face.

Without the toque, and dressed in a long-sleeved blue shirt, jeans and sneakers, an unhappy-looking Cosby entered the courtroom.

About 14 people, mainly workers at the Nunavut Court of Justice, watched the proceedings which were conducted by Justice of the Peace Nicole Sikma.

Sikma decided to adjourn the hearing until April 4.

Police arrested Cosby after the Air Transat flight landed in Iqaluit during the early hours of March 27.

An RCMP news release the aircraft had landed due to the behaviour of a man, who was allegedly intoxicated and displayed “belligerent and aggressive behaviour.”

Some passengers helped flight attendants restrain the man, and the captain made an emergency landing in Iqaluit, police said.

The RCMP said a man, 39, a passenger on the Air Transat flight, was arrested and charged after the flight was diverted into Iqaluit.

The man, since identified as Cosby, faces charges of uttering threats, causing a disturbance, and mischief, as well as a charge of unruly behaviour under the Aeronautics Act.

A conviction under the Aeronautics Act can result in fines of up to $100,000 or a five-year jail sentence.

As Cosby left the courthouse, he stopped briefly at the top of the stairs to smoke a cigarette, keeping most of his head still covered. Then he walked down the stairs, with the toque covering his face, and entered the white police van for the return trip to BCC.

The March 27 emergency touchdown isn’t the first Canadian flight make an unplanned landing in 2013 due to the alleged bad behaviour of a passenger.

In February, four passengers forced a Sunwing flight from Halifax to the Dominican Republic to land in Bermuda because they were found smoking in the bathroom.

Other reasons, cited by numerous online travel sites, that have caused passengers to either be thrown off a flight or charged include:

• swearing, use of abusive or sexist language;

• mentioning bombs;

• being intoxicated or sick;

• dressing provocatively;

• urinating or having sex on board;

• smelling bad;

• refusing to turn off your electronic device like a cell phone or tablet;

• having an unruly child or breastfeeding indiscriminately; and,

• being too large.

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