Friends Dival Ramiro Silos and Fernando Gil were on an American Airlines flight from Rio de Janeiro Thursday morning, when the drama unfolded.
They took cell phone video after they say a man stormed into business class and punched a flight attendant.
That's when they sprang into action, helping wrestle the man to the ground and cuff him.
"Everybody screamed inside the airplane. People go crazy," Silos said.
"I just thought he was a mad man but you know at that altitude, you know the plane's descending, the guy's that close to the door, even somebody's who's not hell bent on some ideological reasons can still cause a lot of damage," Gil said.
The unruly passenger was a 63-year-old man from Massachusetts.
He was taken to Jamaica Hospital's psych ward for evaluation, but has not been charged.