Las Vegas – JetBlue CEO: Captain A ‘Consummate Professional’

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    Authorities board JetBlue flight 191, which was headed from New York to Las Vegas, after an emergency landing at Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport in Amarillo, Texas, Tuesday, March 27, 2012, when an unruly pilot caused the Las Vegas-bound flight to be diverted. Passengers said the pilot screamed that Iraq or Afghanistan had planted a bomb on the flight, was locked out of the cockpit, and then tackled and restrained by passengers. The pilot who subsequently took command of the aircraft elected to land in Amarillo at about 10 a.m., JetBlue Airways said in a statement. (AP Photo/The Amarillo Globe News, Roberto Rodriguez)Las Vegas – The CEO and president of JetBlue says the captain who ranted about a bomb on a flight to Las Vegas is a “consummate professional” whom he has “personally known” for years.

    In a Wednesday interview with NBC’s Matt Lauer, who identified the captain as Clayton Osbon, JetBlue’s Dave Barger said there is nothing in the captain’s record to indicate he could be a risk.

    The captain’s co-workers on the Tuesday flight from New York tried to calm him as he ran through the cabin screaming about Iraq, Afghanistan and al-Qaida. The co-pilot locked him out of the cockpit and passengers restrained him. The flight was diverted to Amarillo, Texas.

    Barger says it was “a tough situation at altitude” and that the customers and crew “just did a great job.”

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    6 COMMENTS

    1. They guy clearly had a medical emergency and this has no terrorism aspect. Lets forego the humorous postings and jokes and wish him a refuah shelamah. We deserve to know (within bounds of privacy) what type of condition he had and why it wasn’t detected in his annual physical so any other episodes like this can be avoided.

    2. Let the aviation executives stop pretending that mental health problems do not exist, amoung their personnel. The public has already witnessed two mental health breakdowns in recent weeks by a Jet Blue flight attendant, and now, by a Jet Blue pilot. There have already been at least two suicides by foreign airline pilots (one by a Japanese pilot, and another by an Egyptian pilot), which caused the loss of hundreds of lives. All pilots (not only American, but worldwide), must be screened mentally periodically, as well as physically. The airline pilots associations, as well as other lobbying groups must stop pretending that there is no problem.

    3. This made me think of the incident in Buffalo in 2009 which brought attention to the fact that many pilots were suffering from exhaustion.

      Perhaps Jetblue should conduct an internal investigation into the schedules and routes of their pilots, flights attendants and other staff to see if they could be a contributing factor here.

    4. Let’s not be so quick to rule out the possibility of foul play here. Since the CEO of Jet Blue personally knows the pilot, it’s possible that terrorists sabatoged his food or drink with drugs. Hopefully, the FBI is testing the pilot for that.

      • Conspiracy theorists abound – especially here on VIN.

        Aside from that #4’s logic is totally crazy; why should “terrorists sabatoged his food or drink with drugs” just because the pilot (allegedly) knows his CEO?

    5. Its hard to be solidly judgemental in this situation. Judging that he was a pilot, this makes me think he was in his older years, though an age was not reported. Either way, schizophreniza can present at some time, though usually in the 20-30s, he could have been drugged (c’vs), he could have had some acute mental syndrome including perhaps a stroke or even a tumor. Who knows what could have done this. But it is certainly distressing and one can only be glad that a co-pilot and others were able to take care of a very dangerous situation.

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