Convicted Killer Tries To Seize Jet

APVasyanovich, second left, being led away at Vnukovo Airport after threatening to blow up a Sky Express flight Friday.
A passenger on a Sky Express flight from Sochi to Moscow threatened to blow up the plane if it didn't reroute to Austria on Friday, but he was overpowered and the plane landed safely.

The passenger, identified as Oleg Vasyanovich, 33, had been released earlier in the day from psychiatric treatment that was ordered after he killed his mother, the Federal Security Service said.

The Boeing 737 belonging to budget airline Sky Express was about 17 minutes into a flight from the Black Sea resort city of Sochi with about 130 people on board when Vasyanovich gave a note to a flight attendant saying he would blow up the plane unless it rerouted to Vienna, the FSB said, Interfax reported.

The plane landed safely at Moscow's Vnukovo Airport at 6:05 p.m., and Vasyanovich was arrested.

According to the FSB, Vasyanovich was convicted in 2002 of killing his mother and was ordered to undergo psychiatric treatment, Interfax reported.

"Today, he was released by court order, and he immediately bought a ticket for this flight," the FSB said.

Authorities said that after the flight crew notified them of the threat, the man was identified, "and his activities were localized." The reports did not give details but appeared to indicate that the passenger was overpowered on board.

The FSB praised the behavior of the plane crew.

On Oct. 15, a drunken Russian passenger claiming to have a bomb tried to hijack a St. Petersburg-bound Turkish Airlines flight, but passengers overpowered him and the plane landed safely in St. Petersburg.

That passenger, identified as Yashar Pashaoglu, 52, handed a note to a flight attendant threatening to blow up the plane unless it flew to Strasbourg, France. Komsomolskaya Pravda described Pashaoglu as a "temperamental poet" well-known to Russian mental health authorities. It said he attempted to burn himself alive on Red Square in 2005.

AP, MT