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Federal charges filed against Ukranian man accused of damaging Delta aircraft

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 16 2012 9:33 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — Federal charges were filed against a Ukrainian man Tuesday after an FBI investigation indicated he damaged an aircraft upon landing at Salt Lake City International Airport.

Anatoliy Baranovich was traveling from Boston to Salt Lake City on a Delta Boeing 757 on Monday when the incident occurred, according to a complaint filed in Utah's U.S. District Court.

As the plane began its descent into Salt Lake City, Baranovich awoke from either being asleep or passed out and began shouting in Russian, court documents state.

Baranovich told investigators via an interpreter that he believed the aircraft's wing was on fire. He also indicated he had been drinking for 50 straight days while visiting family in Ukraine and "never sobered up" because he was upset about not being able to begin construction on a house he was planning, according to the complaint.

After the aircraft touched down about 10:30 p.m., Baranovich ran to the galley at the back of the plane and attempted to open the emergency exit door, ignoring flight attendants' instructions to stop, the complaint indicates.

Baranovich's efforts jammed the door, malfunctioned the emergency inflatable slide and extensively damaged the fuselage, the complaint alleges.

Flight attendants asked passengers to help restrain Baranovich, and a former police officer on board managed to put the distressed man in a wrist lock and force him to the ground, according to court documents.

Once it had been determined there was no terrorist threat, the plane taxied to the nearest gate, and law enforcement and medical assistants were brought in. 

Baranovich told federal agents he had traveled from Kiev, Ukraine, to Amsterdam, Netherlands, before catching the flight from Boston. He planned to travel from Salt Lake City to his final destination in Portland, Ore., according to the document. He was carrying his Ukrainian passport and U.S. visa.

Baranovich is charged with damaging and disabling an aircraft and interference with a flight crew. He likely will make his initial appearance in U.S. District Court on Wednesday.

E-mail: mromero@deseretnews.com Twitter: @McKenzieRomero

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