Michelle Vanbuskirk, 43, was given a suspended sentence totalling ten months for causing a United Airlines flight to Washington DC to return to London Heathrow in September last year. Vanbuskirk was intoxicated and behaving in a disorderly manner during the flight. She assaulted fellow passenger and nurse, Emily Menninger, and crewmember, Porsha Chaplain. The judge considered that Vanbuskirk was drinking to quell the anxiety she experiences when flying – Vanbuskirk was on a United Airlines flight 13 years ago which suffered a double engine blowout and went into free fall before an emergency landing. Vanbuskirk was ordered to pay a total of £5,500 in costs and compensation to the people involved and to conduct 100 hours of unpaid work.
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