US charges JetBlue pilot for midair meltdown
Thursday 29 March 2012
US authorities filed criminal charges yesterday against a JetBlue Airways pilot who witnesses said yelled incoherently about religion and the 2001 hijack attacks and pounded on a locked cockpit door before passengers subdued him in a midair uproar.
Flight 191 was diverted to Amarillo, Texas, on Tuesday, following what authorities described as erratic behavior by Captain Clayton Frederick Osbon, who allegedly ran through the cabin before passengers tackled him in the galley.
A flight attendant suffered bruised ribs, officials said.
The Justice Department filed a complaint charging Osbon with interfering with the crew. It is unusual for a commercial airline pilot to be charged in this way, and a US official said he could not recall a similar case in recent years.
Osbon, 49, remains in a guarded facility at a hospital in Amarillo, and US Attorney Sarah Saldana said he faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
The 12-year JetBlue veteran was suspended while the FBI and aviation authorities investigate the incident, the airline and the government said on Wednesday.
A JetBlue spokeswoman said the company was cooperating fully with authorities and would conduct its on investigation as well.
Dave Barger, chief executive of the New York carrier, said he knows and respects Osbon, who regulators said underwent a routine medical evaluation nearly four months ago and had a clean record.
The harrowing events raised questions about pilot medical qualifications and workplace stress in an industry under chronic financial pressure and more generally in an economy only slowly shaking the grip of severe recession.
- 1 Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
- 2 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 3 The confessions of men who ordered mail-order brides
- 4 General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
- 5 Yazidi sex slaves undergoing surgery to 'restore virginity' after being raped by Isis militants
General Election 2015: Tories sack candidate who said she would never support 'the Jew' Ed Miliband
The four utterly contradictory polls that tell the story of this election and why it is pointless trying to predict the outcome
9/11: Iranian General accuses US of organising September 11 terror attacks
General Election 2015: Prospect of Labour-SNP coalition makes one in four voters less likely to support Ed Miliband, says survey
General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
Andrew Lloyd Webber: Phantom of the Opera writer mocked after issuing a warning about Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon
General election 2015: Labour will toughen hate crimes legislation surrounding Islamophobia
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds
£65K - £75K (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Creative Director...
£8 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: You will need to be able to follow instr...
£18000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This global wholesaler and reta...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This organization is one of the founding names...