JetBlue pilot, Captain Clayton Osbon was locked out of the cockpit by his co-pilot during a flight from New York to Las Vegas which had to be diverted to Amarillo. The pilot was screaming about a bomb and Iraq and Afghanistan, then told passengers to start reciting the Lord’s prayer during the flight.
Brie Sachse, an FAA spokeswoman said in a statement, “The captain had exited the cockpit during the flight, when which the co-pilot locked the door. When the captain attempted to enter the locked cockpit, he was subdued by passengers.”
Jet Blue Flight 191 left New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport at 7:28 a.m. JetBlue released a statement saying, “At roughly 10 a.m. CT/11 a.m. ET, the pilot in command elected to divert to Amarillo, Texas, for a medical situation involving the captain. Another captain, traveling off duty, entered the flight deck prior to landing at Amarillo and took over the duties of the ill crew member once on the ground. The crew member was taken off the plane and transported to a medical facility.”
The Federal Aviation Administration cited an “onboard medical emergency” as the reason for the diversion to Amarillo, Texas, and said the co-pilot became concerned that the captain had “exhibited erratic behaviour during the flight.” The situation is now being investigated by the FBI, the Transportation Security Administration and Amarillo police.
Tony Antolino, a security executive from Rye, New York, was on the flight and realized something was wrong when he saw the JetBlue captain leaving the cockpit and started walking through the cabin, drinking water and becoming agitated. “The captain started yelling about Iraq and Afghanistan, then told passengers to start reciting the Lord’s prayer. That’s when everybody just tackled him and took him down. We just physically stood on top of him until the flight was diverted and we landed in Amarillo,” said Antolino.
JetBlue CEO Dave Barger told NBC Today Show, “I’ve known the captain personally for a long period of time. There’s been no indication of this at all in the past. That was a tough situation at altitude. The customers and crew did a great job.”