James Cameron, 50, of Anaheim, was convicted in Los Angeles this week of interfering with a flight crew to the point he was duct-taped to his seat and later handcuffed until the plane landed.
Tom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office, said Cameron faces up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced in the fall.
The Orange County Register said Cameron was aboard a United Airlines flight to Hong Kong when he got into an altercation with an off-duty pilot in the seat next to him.
The situation deteriorated, and punches were thrown. Cameron broke free from the duct tape and had to be subdued again with seat-belt extensions and handcuffs.