May 19, 2022

Jet Blue Had A Mentally Insane Pilot Flying Their Planes

img_2527Travel can sometimes be unnerving even to seasoned travelers.  We have all grown accustomed to flight delays, being groped and patted down by overzealous TSA agents,  bad weather, unpalatable airline food, long lines, high prices and occasionally an insane fellow traveler who disrupts a flight.  But an insane pilot at the controls of an Airbus A320 with over 150 souls on board??!!

As scary as this thought is, it’s not a hypothetical scenario.   This from the Wall Street Journal:

A JetBlue Airways Corp. pilot who was charged for disrupting a March flight in midair was found not guilty by a Texas federal judge by reason of insanity.

U.S. District Judge Mary Lou Robinson wrote that Clayton F. Osbon interfered with the flight crew of JetBlue Flight 191—a federal offense—but that, based on testimony from a psychologist who evaluated the pilot, “the defendant suffered from a severe mental disease or defect.”

Authorities arrested Mr. Osbon in March after the New York-to-Las Vegas flight he captained was diverted to Amarillo, Texas, because he exhibited bizarre behavior in the middle of the flight, including running through the cabin, shouting “jumbled comments about Jesus, September 11th, Iraq, Iran and terrorists,” and telling the co-pilot, “we’re not going to Vegas,” according to court documents.

A JetBlue spokeswoman said in an email, “We continue to support the Osbon family and don’t have further comment as we let the judicial process play out.”

That’s great that JetBlue supports the pilot’s family but what about an apology to the travelers whose lives were potentially put at risk by the actions of an “insane” pilot.  I don’t know the details of JetBlue’s ongoing pilot evaluation program but it would seem that a serious upgrade of procedures is necessary.

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