JetBlue pilot indictment offers view from cockpit: Osbon gave 'a sermon'
An indictment of Clayton Osbon, the JetBlue pilot restrained by passengers, reports erratic behavior in the cockpit, such as telling air traffic control to be quiet and gabbling nonsensical numbers. Osbon will undergo a mental competency exam.
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Breaking company security protocol when he left the cockpit alarmed crew members just outside the cockpit door. When flight attendants asked if anything was wrong, Osbon grabbed a flight attendant's hands. He also banged on the door to the lavatory, telling the passenger inside that he needed to go to the bathroom, the affidavit says.Skip to next paragraph
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While Osbon was in the lavatory, the first officer told a flight attendant to bring the off-duty captain immediately to the cockpit. After that, Osbon "came out of the lavatory and began talking to the flight attendants, but was not making sense," mentioning at some point there being "150 souls on board," the affidavit says.
Osbon walked to the back of the aircraft – "on his way stopping to ask a male passenger if he had a problem" – before sprinting back to the forward galley, flight attendants close behind, chasing him."
At the cockpit door, Osbon began trying to enter his special code to reenter the cockpit – and banging on the door so hard that the first officer said he thought he might burst through the door. Inside, the first officer and the other captain locked the door. At that point, the first officer gave an order over the intercom to restrain Osbon. Already informed by flight attendants that their help might be needed, several passengers helped the flight attendants subdue Osbon, the affidavit said.
Flight attendants decided not to have the passengers helping to restrain Osbon go back to their seats because "they felt they could not risk letting Osbon get up off the floor." The plane made an emergency landing in Amarillo with passengers still restraining Osbon in the galley, the affidavit concludes.
Aeronautical medical authorities told the Monitor that any investigation is likely to include a check on any medications he might have been be taking, since it's possible that Osbon, who had no earlier blots on his record, could have been experiencing hallucinatory side-effects.
Prosecutors and Osbon's attorney, E. Dean Roper, agreed to a mental competency exam after a government motion said events described in the FBI affidavit “establish a likelihood that Osbon may be suffering from a mental disease or defect," according to local news media reports. The outcome of that examination will determine whether Osbon understands the charge against him and can assist in his own defense.
A secretary answering the phone for Mr. Roper said he was declining to comment on the case.
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