JetBlue Pilot Clayton Osbon Suspended, Facing Charges After Flight 191 Midair Meltdown [Video]

Federal authorities have charged a JetBlue Airways pilot who caused a disturbance on board a flight to Las Vegas with interfering with a flight crew.

An affidavit unsealed Wednesday states that Clayton Frederick Osbon, 49, caused JetBlue Flight 191 from New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport to Las Vegas to be diverted to Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport on Tuesday, with 90 minutes to go in a five-hour flight.

According to the document, Osbon told his co-pilots that “things don’t matter” during during the Las Vegas-bound flight Tuesday. The written statement goes on to say Osbon told the plane’s first officer that “we’re not going to Vegas” and began giving a sermon.

Passengers wrestled Osbon to the ground after he left the cockpit and sprinted down the cabin screaming and urging everyone to pray. The plane made an emergency landing in Amarillo, Texas. No one on board was hurt.

ABC News writes that following his JetBlue flight 191 meltdown, the veteran pilot was taken to Northwest Texas Healthcare System in Amarillo for medical evaluation, where he remains.

In the meantime, JetBlue is suspending Osbon pending a review of the incident.

“He has been removed from all active duty and responsibilities pending further investigation,” JetBlue spokeswoman Tamara Young said, declining to comment further on that investigation.

Osbon has been a pilot at JetBlue since 2000, the airline’s first year of flying.

JetBlue CEO Dave Barger said that there had been no earlier signs of problems with the pilot.

“The captain’s now in the hands of medical care, obviously, under the custody of the FBI,” Barger told NBC’s “Today” program.

“I’ve known the captain personally for a long period of time, and there’s been no indication of this at all,” Barger said, adding that the pilot was a “consummate professional.”

Reuters reports that interference with a flight crew is punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. The U.S. Attorney’s Office has 30 days to present the case to a grand jury for indictment.

For more on Clayton Osbon’s JetBlue Flight 191 meltdown, watch the video below:

For eyewitness video footage of the JetBlue pilot‘s dramatic breakdown, watch the clips below:

Image: Reuters
via IBTimes

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