JetBlue Pilot Meltdown Ended by Choke Hold from Former Prison Guard: With Video and Audio
Tags: Airbus A320, Aviation accidents and incidents, breaking, Clayton Osbon, diversions, emergency landings, JetBlue Airways, JetBlue Flight 191, Las Vegas McCarran (LAS), N796JB, New York John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport (AMA), spotlight
JetBlue Flight 191, an Airbus A320 (N796JB) enroute from New York John F. Kennedy International Airport to Las Vegas McCarran International Airport, was cruising at 34,000 feet about 55 miles north of Amarillo, Texas, when the first officer declared an emergency, according to The Aviation Herald. Onboard were 135 passengers and six crew.
The plane landed about 20 minutes later at Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport, where it was met by law enforcement and medical personnel.
Fox News identified the captain as Clayton Osbon of Milwaukee. JetBlue declined to share any information about the pilot, other than that he was transported to a medical facility after landing.
Alison Fargis, whose brother was on the plane, said, via Twitter, that the first officer tricked the disturbed Captain Osbon into going to the bathroom, and then locked the cockpit door so he couldn’t return.
Ok, copilot got pilot to go to the bathroom then locked him out of the cockpit. (I still like the idea of them locking him the bathroom!)
— Alison Fargis (@AlisonFargis) March 27, 2012
Osbon then began screaming semi-coherently about Iraq, Iran and Al Qaeda, and said there was a bomb on the plane. “Say your prayers!” he screamed while running up and down the aisle, according to one report.
Osbon is heard screaming in this clip:
David Gonzalez, a 50-year-old former officer of the New York City Department of Corrections, stepped in. “I said, ‘I’m going to show you Iraq and Iran right now,’ and I just took him in a choke hold,” Gonzalez told ABC News. “I started to cut his windpipe off so he couldn’t get any air,” he explained, and about three minutes later, Osbon was unconscious. Other passengers assisted in keeping him down until the plane reached the ground.
Air Traffic Control Audio of Flight 191 Emergency Landing:
JetBlue said, in a statement, that an off-duty pilot on the flight joined the remaining pilot on the flight deck after the incident.
Passengers restrain Osbon:
Sidenote for the avgeeks: The incident aircraft, N796JB, was delivered fresh from Airbus last week, and this occurred on just its fourth day in revenue service, according to FlightAware records.
Captain Osbon removed from the plane in a wheelchair: