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.
- 3 Alton Towers crash: Four seriously injured and 16 guests trapped as Smiler ride carriages collide
- 4 Ann Summers survey reveals the UK's favourite sex position
Man on naked bike ride gets ejected after becoming aroused
Caitlyn Jenner's mother Ester thought her daughter, formerly known as Bruce Jenner, had transitioned for money
Charles Kennedy 1959-2015: A gifted, compassionate politician whose career was cut short by the 'demon drink' - latest news
Alton Towers crash: Four seriously injured and 16 guests trapped as Smiler ride carriages collide
Charles Kennedy dead: A guy once asked the Lib Dem leader who his favourite Muppet was and his letter response was wonderful
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Church of England 'one generation away from extinction' after dramatic loss of followers
£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a solutions / s...
£18000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive is required t...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you inspired to bring new a...
£14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...