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JetBlue pilot charged with interfering with flight crew including raw video of pilot meltdown

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 5:45 PM EDT, Wed March 28, 2012

(CNN) -- A JetBlue pilot has been charged with interfering with a flight crew after his midair behavioral meltdown led to an emergency landing.

The federal criminal complaint reveals details of the incident in which Clayton Osbon, 49, displayed what passengers and fellow crew members described as erratic, bizarre and disturbing behavior.

Osbon has been suspended pending an investigation and is receiving medical treatment, the airline said Wednesday.

If convicted, Osbon would face a maximum 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The U.S. Attorney's office has 30 days to present the matter to a grand jury for indictment.

In the two-page affidavit in support of an arrest warrant, FBI Special Agent John Whitworth said Osbon missed the crew briefing for Flight 191, which departed at 7:28 a.m. Tuesday from New York's Kennedy International Airport en route to Las Vegas.

"Initially, he did not exhibit any bizarre behavior," Whitworth said in the affidavit, which describes behavior that grew more erratic as the flight continued.

The affidavit details the trip:

As the plane was taking off, Osbon "said something to the FO (first officer) about being evaluated by someone," but the first officer was not sure what Osbon meant.

Osbon talked about his church and needing to "focus," then asked the first officer to take over the controls and the radio. Osbon said, "Things just don't matter," talked about sins in Las Vegas, and at one point said, "We're not going to Vegas."

About 3½ hours into the planned five-hour flight, the pilot left the cockpit to use the lavatory, but he failed to follow security protocol, alarming the crew. He then banged on the lavatory door and told the female passenger inside that he needed to go to the bathroom.

By that time, the first officer had summoned another JetBlue pilot who had been traveling as a passenger to enter the cockpit and the two locked themselves inside.

From the cabin, Osbon tried to enter his security code to gain access to the cockpit "and he banged on the door hard enough that the FO thought he was coming through the door."

But the door held and, over the PA, the first officer ordered passengers to restrain Osbon. Several did just that, subduing the pilot in the forward galley. During the melee, a flight attendant suffered bruised ribs.

A passenger said Osbon said, "Pray fucking now for Jesus Christ" and mumbled about Jesus, September 11, Iraq, Iran and terrorists.

"The pilot ran to the cockpit door, began banging on it and said something to the effect of, 'We've gotta pull the throttle back. We've gotta get this plane down,'" said passenger Laurie Dhue, a former CNN anchor.

"At that point, the two flight attendants tried to subdue him, and then -- seemingly out of nowhere -- about six or seven large guys stormed to the front of the plane and wrestled the captain of the plane down to the ground and had him subdued in a matter of moments," she said. "It was really like something out of a movie."

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Amateur video of the incident showed a commotion as men moved through the aisle. A voice, purportedly that of the pilot, can be heard.

"Oh my God. I'm so distraught!" he shouts. "We've got Israel, we've got Iraq, we've got Israel, we've got Iraq! We've got to get down!"

Law enforcement met the aircraft, cuffed the pilot and took him off the plane.

Passenger Tony Antolino praised the co-pilot. "He really, I think, is the hero here because he had the sense to recognize that something was going horribly wrong, and he was able to persuade the pilot out of the cockpit," he said.

The first officer declared an emergency and the plane landed at about 11 a.m. in Amarillo, Texas. Passengers restraining Osbon continued to do so during the landing.

Osbon, who has worked as a JetBlue pilot for 12 years, has been taken off active duty with pay, said airline spokeswoman Tamara Young.

CEO Dave Barger said Osbon had always been a "consummate professional."

"What happened at altitude is we had a medical situation," Barger told NBC News. "It became a security situation."

Barger said the captain was in custody of the FBI. Citing privacy concerns, JetBlue would not divulge details about his treatment.

Osbon has not made a public statement.

The Twitter page for a Clayton F. Osbon describes him as "JetBlue Flight Standards Captain" for the Airbus A320, as well as a leadership coach. Tuesday's Flight 191 from New York to Las Vegas was on an Airbus A320.

Both the Twitter and LinkedIn pages in Osbon's name describe him as a director of Body By Vi. The LinkedIn page says the company helps "people to a better life" through health and financial prosperity.

A Facebook page for a Clayton Osbon says he is married and lives in Savannah, Georgia.

The blog Writer Killing Darlings carries a profile of Osbon, which was published last year in the magazine Richmond Hill Reflections. "Clayton lives with his wife of six years, Connye, and enough animals to make a lint-brush essential," the story says.

Osbon "wants to be a motivational speaker down the road," the story says.

"It starts with a greater enhanced knowledge of one's being... you know, I'd like to think the world is more than just getting up in the morning, making a cup of coffee, going to work, coming home, kissing your wife good-night and going to bed," it quotes him as saying.

"I was surprised, to say the least," Christine Lucas, who wrote the profile, said about her reaction when she heard the news Tuesday. She said she had met with the pilot three times in preparing to write the story and that he gave no indication that anything was amiss. "He was fantastic, and I believe he probably still is. I'm as eager as everybody else to figure out what happened. But he was a gregarious guy, he was confident and he seemed happy. I can't say that anything led me to think that something like this would happen."


Added: Mar-28-2012 Occurred On: Mar-28-2012
By: unit731
In:
Regional News
Tags: jetblue, pilot, captain, Clayton Osbon, charged, erratic, bizarre, disturbing behaviour, flight 191, mid-air meltdown
Location: United States (load item map)
Views: 4871 | Comments: 57 | Votes: 3 | Favorites: 2 | Shared: 0 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 2
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  • Comment of user 'T0M65' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • Comment of user 'FundtheMental1' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • bath salts cause behavior like this.

    Posted Mar-28-2012 By 

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  • Comment of user 'HYPERTECKER' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • Whats with the cobra helicopter on the runway?

    Posted Mar-28-2012 By 

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  • what is hilarious here is that the screen graphic showed bomb rant right after the witness just JUST said that he had no idea where they got the bomb comment idea. not surprised at all.

    Posted Mar-28-2012 By 

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  • OD'd on the wrong stimulant (Heroin instead of Coke or Speed)? His profile seems to suggest a health nut so voluntary drug use would seem odd perhaps being slipped a mickey is more likely?

    Posted Mar-28-2012 By 

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  • Drug interaction.

    Classic drug interaction.

    Posted Mar-28-2012 By 

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  • Another Jesus freak, keep up the good work Christians! You're doing wonders for society!

    Posted Mar-28-2012 By 

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    • @Genemachine I am more embarrassed by the Westboro Baptist Church then by this. I will wait to see what happened, rather then having a knee jerk reaction? Maybe you want to go yell at Al Sharpton in Florida about now? Because this guy is not going to be your Anti-Religious poster boy.

      Posted Mar-28-2012 By 

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    • @DemocratWithDerringer I'm embarrassed by religions in general, especially christianity.

      Posted Mar-29-2012 By 

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    • @Genemachine We can not all be "wise" like you I suppose?

      Did you know the word "Rib" in Genesis where Eve was "created from Adams "Rib"" is more accurately translated as "Helix"?

      There are lots of places in the book where we learn the translators simply translated it wrong? God did not claim the universe was created in seven "days". He did not say to Adam do not "Eat" the "Apple".

      And Christ never spoke of " More..

      Posted Mar-29-2012 By 

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    • @DemocratWithDerringer Wise? No no, I am not old enough to consider myself wise. But do I consider myself logical? Yes. Do I consider myself educated? Yes. That is why I am embarrassed, because I know there are people who much smarter than me in every way that still believe in these fairy tales. The bible has so many contradictions, whether it be from mistranslated words or misinterpretation's. Regardless, it only takes a juvenile mind to figure that out.

      Posted Mar-30-2012 By 

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    • @Genemachine No it takes a closed mind to accept things with out actually examining the facts.

      Again many things the modern church claims the book says? Are simply not true. Don't blame God for the actions of mankind.

      Don't trust that what you are told is always true?

      Check for yourself after all Schools in the US continue to teach the Christopher Columbus stories which I understand are no longer accepted as the truth?

      Any man would be wise to doubt the words of any other man or to accept More..

      Posted Mar-30-2012 By 

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  • He was part of the flight crew.

    He had a medical problem, this is ridiculous charging him, absolutely friking ludicrous. The guy needs mental help, either than or someone slipped him a Mickey Finn.

    Posted Mar-28-2012 By 

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  • He was pushed past a breaking point. He needs a psychiatrist not a judge.

    Posted Mar-28-2012 By 

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  • WTF, is somebody putting something in these air crews coffee. Last month a flight attendant, this week a pilot. I guess they are fed up with flying too.

    Posted Mar-28-2012 By 

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    • @Foosa I think your on to something there? I mean test runs to see what the crew and passenger reactions will be? Hope folks are staying alert? There will not always be a bunch a big guys heading to a security conference.

      We all need to be willing to get involved like never before.

      Posted Mar-28-2012 By 

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  • on a side note,
    pilots don't get the huge $$$ they did 20 years ago. I wonder if these crews are overworked for the reality check they cash

    Posted Mar-28-2012 By 

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    • @Airedale they still make a pretty dam good salary...somewhere around a quarter million per year. not quite chump change.

      Posted Mar-28-2012 By 

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  • media is a joke..
    breaking news, plane diverted after pilots bomb rant?

    Posted Mar-28-2012 By 

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  • Aren't the passengers who restrained him the ones guilty of interfering with a flight crew?

    Posted Mar-28-2012 By 

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  • is this staged??

    Posted Mar-28-2012 By 

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  • Bet the co-pilot was thanking God, after the pilot leave the cockpit.

    Posted Mar-28-2012 By 

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  • another religious nutjob loses his mind. when will people wake up and steer clear of organized religions/cults?

    Posted Mar-28-2012 By 

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    • @stav napolous Yeah yeah, what ever. 12 years on the job with no record? Something is amiss here and it isn't his religion. How about the stewardess some one mentioned?

      No I don't think his religion was anything more then a symptom in this issue.

      Posted Mar-28-2012 By 

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    • @DemocratWithDerringer oh no, not YOU again! i bet you're a christian. why doesn't jesus come back and perform some more magic tricks for us?

      Posted Mar-28-2012 By 

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    • @stav napolous Because he already stopped in once, and taught all his "tricks" to his disciples.

      Then called them Apostles.

      Too bad they did not understand, and failed to teach clearly enough and instead we get Paul's awful gospels and "Organized Religion" which foists its lies off on us?

      Liars behind five out of every seven pulpits world wide stealing from Gods creations.

      Christ also warned that the next supernatural would be the Anti-Christ. Yeah I suspect I should hol More..

      Posted Mar-28-2012 By 

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    • @DemocratWithDerringer HA! i ws RIGHT! now it all comes together...you're a fucking lunatic! anyone with half a brain doesn't believe in hocus pocus. maybe david copperfield is the devil!!! LOL! how many times have you been bitten by rattlesnakes at church you inbred retard?

      Posted Mar-28-2012 By 

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    • @stav napolous Oh here is where you asked that question, well see you replied to the same post twice so it is understandable I missed it.

      David Copperfield was at one time one of my favorite illusionists now he is just another liar trying to pretend he has real power too sad. Penn and Teller have moved up in my esteem because they Teamed up with The Amazing Randy to debunk all the liars out there.

      You may want to stick with them as they have a fair and honest view of the real world. Maybe no More..

      Posted Mar-29-2012 By 

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  • Bad trip, man!

    Posted Mar-28-2012 By 

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  • cuckoo for cocoa puffs


    Obama should have invited him for a beer, and announced to the press that if he had a son, it would look like this pilot.

    Posted Mar-28-2012 By 

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  • Ah and this is why you don't want guns on aircraft, a few years back remember policians suggesting flightcrew should be armed, that would have worked out nicely with this one

    Posted Mar-29-2012 By 

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  • Can't wait for the next JibJab cartoon.

    Posted Mar-28-2012 By 

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  • Kudos to the passengers who restrained this guy.

    Posted Mar-30-2012 By 

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  • Not a pretty sight, watching someone lose their mind. He wont even be flying rubber dogshit out of Hong Kong now...he'll be putting the dogshit into packets on the factory line

    Posted Apr-1-2012 By 

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  • 6 rows of men subdued him, 9/11 sure taught everyone a lesson. I sure in hell would punch any mother fucker that goes crazy on a flight

    Posted Apr-3-2012 By 

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