It was night time in New York air space when it happened.
Chataqua flight 6132, flying as Delta Connection from Asheville, North Carolina was to LaGuardia was at 10,000 feet, when the co-pilot radio'd controllers of a potential problem:
"Uh, the captain disappeared in the back and I have someone with a thick foreign accent trying to access the cockpit right now and I've got to deal with this situation."
The pilot had gone to the rear of the small, Embraer Regional Jet to use the lavatory. But while he was inside, the door jammed. A passenger tried to help free the pilot, then went to the cockpit to tell a suspicious co-pilot what was happening.
"What I'm being told is that he's stuck in the lav and someone with a thick foreign accident is giving me a password to access the cockpit and I'm not about to let him in."
Meanwhile, air traffic controllers put fighter jets on standby and asked for assurances the cockpit was secure.
"Is there only one of you in the cockpit and the door is closed at this time?"
Listening-in, another pilot offered a piece of advice: "You guys outta declare an emergency and just get on the ground!"
NBC News aviation expert, former Captain John Cox, says it was reasonable for the first officer to fear a hijacker may be trying to talk his way into the cockpit.
"Since 9/11 the doors are hardened, the locks are hardened, it would be virtually impossible for somebody to just using their body to get into the flight deck and it was designed that way specifically to prevent that."
Finally, the flight attendant, who was in the cockpit as a security procedure when the pilot is out, left the cockpit and freed the pilot.
The pilot then radio'd controllers: "I had to fight my way out of it with my body to get the door open. There is no issue, no threat."
Once on the ground, police and FBI quickly determined it was all a big misunderstanding.