Clayton Osbon, the JetBlue pilot whose erratic behavior mid-flight led the co-pilot to lock him out of the cockpit, was charged Wednesday with 'interfering' with crew instructions. What led a 'consummate professional' to come unglued remains a mystery to the public.
The JetBlue pilot whose erratic behavior – including shouting, banging on the cockpit door, and running down the aisle yelling that the plane was going to crash – led the co-pilot to lock him out of the cockpit mid-flight on Tuesday is a seasoned airline pilot who has had a passion for flying since he was in college.
Airline officials characterize the incident as a "medical emergency;" outside observers have called it a panic attack. The actual reason for pilot Clayton Osbon's strange outburst, however, remains a mystery, at least to the public.
"He started screaming about Al Qaeda and possibly a bomb on the plane and Iraq and Iran and about how we were all going down," passenger Gabriel Schonzeit, who was sitting in the third row, told the Amarillo Globe-News.
On Wednesday, Mr. Osbon, a 12-year pilot for JetBlue, was charged with “interfering with crew-member instructions” and remains in a medical facility in Amarillo, Texas, where the co-pilot landed the Las Vegas-bound plane, says a JetBlue spokesman. JetBlue also suspended him from flying "pending further investigation," CNN reported Wednesday.
JetBlue's chief executive officer, Dave Barger, has described Osbon a “consummate professional” with no history of trouble.
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