NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The JetBlue pilot who had a meltdown in mid-air has been indicted.
Clayton Osbon was indicted on one count of interference with a flight crew. Passengers had to restrain Osbon after authorities said he flipped out during a Las Vegas-bound flight from John F. Kennedy Airport on March 27.
The plane was forced to land in Amarillo, Texas.
Osbon reportedly ran through the cabin screaming about religion and terrorists and telling passengers to “say your prayers.” Osbon talked about sins in Las Vegas, saying at one point “We’re not going to Vegas.”
Then Osbon began giving what the first officer described as a sermon.The FBI also said Osbon began frightening his first officer, co-pilot Jason Dowd, about three hours into the flight, saying Osbon “began talking about religion, but his statements were not coherent.”
After the co-pilot saw the pilot unnecessarily “fiddling” with the flight controls, and complaining to air traffic control about too much chatter, Dowd coaxed Osbon out of the cockpit, suggesting he go splash water in his face.
Once out of the cockpit, Dowd called for an off-duty pilot, who was flying as a passenger, to come forward. They changed the combination on the cabin door lock. Passengers then tackled Osbon and the crew made the emergency landing.
JetBlue continues to stand by its pilot, who until this episode had a sterling reputation.
“We had a team and we still have a team supporting the captain, family as well with whatever their needs might be,” President and CEO Dave Barger said.
Osbon is also currently undergoing a court-ordered psychiatric exam to determine if he is mentally capable of standing trial.
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