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Charlotte Lawyer Causes Plane Traveling to London to Turn Around
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Summary: One female passenger caused a plane to turn around after making it halfway to London after she had a violent outburst for what she claims was a reaction between wine and a sleeping pill.

Immigration and corporate lawyer Sarah E. Buffett of Charlotte, North Carolina drank around three glasses of wine and took a Zaleplon sleeping pill while on a flight bound for London. The US Airways flight was traveling to London Heathrow Airport from Charlotte. Buffett was sitting in first class.


When the plane was halfway over the Atlantic, she became violent towards the flight attendant, trying to damage her seat and even taking the remote for the entertainment system to smash against the window.

Buffett was eventually restrained by attendants and passengers while the plane turned around. According to the tracking website,, the plane was over Cape Breton Island of Nova Scotia when it turned back and was directed to land in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia and Tinicum Township police were waiting for the plane when it arrived. She was taken off the plane and charged with intimidation of a flight crew member and other offenses by the U.S. Attorney in Philadelphia.

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Buffett was released on her own after she surrendered her passport and was ordered not to fly on any commercial flights until after the disposition. She told the judge that she did not remember the events on the plane so a federal public defender was asked to advise her. She only recalls asking the attendant not to serve her dinner and then the next thing she remembers was being physically restrained by someone she did not know.

There were 267 passengers on board the flight that was scheduled to leave Charlotte at 10:30pm but didn’t actually leave till closer to midnight. The passengers had their flights rebooked on other London bound flights but for most it was too late and they had missed their connecting flights. The original crew was unable to take the passengers on the flight because they had reached their maximum time on duty.




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