The plane had just landed, but he was ready to take off.
A JetBlue flight attendant blew his top, grabbed some beer and bolted out an emergency slide at Kennedy Airport Monday - then headed home to have sex with his boyfriend.
After he was bonked in the head by a bag, Steven Slater stunned passengers by spewing profanity and ranting about quitting as the flight from Pittsburgh pulled up to the gate about noon.
"To the f-----g a--hole who told me to f--k off, it's been a good 28 years," Slater, 38, purred, cops said. "I've had it. That's it," he added, a passenger said.
The mad-as-hell steward grabbed a couple of brewskis and popped one open before activating the emergency exit, witnesses told airport employees.
After tossing his two carry-on bags on the slide, he followed them to the tarmac.
Slater - who actually first started working for airlines 20 years ago, not 28 - then walked to the AirTrain, stripped off his company tie and flung it off as bemused passengers watched.
"I wish we could all quit our jobs like that," said passenger Phil Catelinet, 36, of Brooklyn, who was on the flight and the AirTrain.
"He seemed kind of happy about it. He was like, 'I just quit my job.' "
Port Authority police said it took jetBlue 25 minutes to report the incident, allowing Slater time to leave the scene.
Cops found him in bed with his boyfriend when they arrived to arrest him at a beachfront home in the Rockaways with a porch overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, sources said.
He boasted to skeptical cops that he really did escape by chute with his carry-on luggage.
"Oh, yes, I did! I threw them down first and I went down after," he told cops, sources said.
He was grinning as police walked him in handcuffs to a squad car. "He left with a big smile on his face," said neighbor Curt Karkowski.
Slater was wearing a sheepish smile when Port Authority detectives walked him to a waiting van a few hours later. He was charged with reckless endangerment and criminal mischief.
JetBlue would not say how long Slater had worked for the airline, but he wrote on his MySpace page that he was "enjoying being back in the skies" after a five-year break.
"I love to max it out with trips around the world, sometimes on a moment's notice!" he gushed.
Neighbors described Slater as a nice guy, but said he was under some stress. "Steven's mother is dying," said Judy Rochelle, whose son Kenny lives with Slater. "She has lung cancer. She's had two chemos and the prognosis is not good. They were on their way out to California this weekend to settle her affairs."
Rochelle added that Slater "watched his father die of Lou Gehrig's disease not long ago. Steven's under a lot of pressure."
Slater's MySpace page, packed with photos of him posing in his jetBlue uniform, says he beat "alcoholism and substance abuse."
He apparently reached his breaking point on Flight 1052 when a passenger tried to get a bag from the overhead compartment and it clocked Slater on the head, cops said. Words were exchanged, and the passenger cursed at Slater, they said.
After the plane arrived at the gate, he took over the intercom and began spewing abuse.
"We just looked at each other and said, 'What the heck was that about?' " said Catelinet. "I thought, 'Let me get off the plane before they stop us or something.' "
He said he was stunned when he ran into Slater on the AirTrain, bragging about his "take your plane and shove it" stunt.
"It's pretty much the craziest thing I've ever seen on a plane," Catelinet said.
The brother of Slater's partner said he was "dumbfounded" by the wacky incident.
"He's an everyday ordinary guy, a nice guy," said John Rochelle, 39.
Neighbor Janet Bavasso, an ex-flight attendant, said she couldn't imagine Slater going off.
"I just can't picture him running down the tarmac," she said.
A jetBlue co-worker who was on the flight called Slater a working-class hero.
"It's something we all fantasize about," she said. "But we have kids and a mortgage or are just too chicken - or sane - to go through with [it]."