JetBlue Suspends Captain in Meltdown

Clayton Osbon taken off active duty pending review
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 28, 2012 12:57 PM CDT
JetBlue Suspends Captain in Meltdown
Authorities board JetBlue flight 191, which was headed from New York to Las Vegas, after an emergency landing at Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport in Amarillo, Texas, Tuesday, March 27, 2012, when an unruly pilot caused the Las Vegas-bound flight to be diverted. Passengers said the pilot screamed...   (Roberto Rodriguez)

(Newser) – A JetBlue captain who yelled about a bomb and urged passengers to pray on a Las Vegas-bound flight has been suspended, the airline said today. Clayton Osbon has been taken off active duty pending a review of the incident, a JetBlue spokeswoman said. There is nothing in the captain's record to indicate he would be a risk on a flight, CEO and president Dave Barger said today. The customers and crew "just did a great job," he said. "That was a true team effort at 35,000 feet."

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It was not clear if Osbon would face any criminal or civil charges for disrupting the flight. "Clearly, he had an emotional or mental type of breakdown," said Tony Antolino, a security executive who tackled the pilot when he tried to re-enter the cockpit.
The FAA is likely to review Osbon's medical certificate—essentially a seal of approval that the pilot is healthy. All pilots working for scheduled airlines must have a first-class medical certificate. Charlie Restivo, who sat in the plane's fourth row, said he thought it was clear that the pilot had suffered a medical episode. "I don't think when he got up this morning that that's what he was intending to do," he said. "Unfortunately, I just think it happened to him." (Read more JetBlue stories.)

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