The JetBlue airline steward who became famous in August after he quit his job and activated the emergency chute of a packed jet while it sat on the tarmac at JFK International Airport, had a lucky escape in court in October.

Steven Slater decided to pack in his job after a heated exchange that ensued when a passenger rose out of his seat while the jet was still taxiing to the gate. This seemed to be the last straw for Mr Slater as he walked to the rear of the plane, announced his resignation over the intercom and then activated the emergency chute and slid away. After driving home, he was arrested and charged with criminal mischief.

His day in court arrived on 19 October. Slater admitted the charge and escaped without a custodial sentence. However, he is on a year’s probation and will have to attend counselling for a year. JetBlue has suspended the irate steward and expressed concern that the decision fails to take account of the danger of deploying emergency slides which use a potentially deadly amount of force. The District Attorney also noted that it cost €25,000 to fix the slide and the plane was out of service afterwards causing flight delays.

Meanwhile Mr Slater’s fame continues unabated as it was possible to get a Slater inspired Halloween air steward costume this year in many shops across the United States.