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Screaming JetBlue pilot is barred from boarding commercial flights

November 09, 2012|By Joseph Serna
  • JetBlue pilot Clayton Frederick Osbon, right, is escorted to a waiting vehicle by FBI agents in Amarillo, Texas.
JetBlue pilot Clayton Frederick Osbon, right, is escorted to a waiting… (Michael Schumacher / Amarillo…)

A JetBlue pilot who rambled incoherently and had to be restrained by passengers during a flight in March was scheduled to be released from federal custody Friday and will not be allowed back on commercial flights.

On March 27, Clayton Osbon, 49, suffered from a temporary “severe mental disease or defect” on a New York to Las Vegas flight where he shouted obscenities, talked about religion and screamed about 9/11, Iraq, Iran, and terrorists, according to his criminal complaint.

He showed up late for the preflight briefing, spoke nonsensically about church during takeoff, and ran up and down the aisles before trying to get back into the cockpit, which his worried co-pilot had locked down.

Members of the flight crew and several passengers subdued Osbon when the plane was at 35,000 feet, about 3-1/2 hours into the five-hour flight. The plane made an emergency landing in Amarillo, Texas.

Osbon was hospitalized after the plane landed and charged two days later with interfering with the duties of the flight crew, a crime which can lead to 20 years in prison and $250,000 in fines.

Court documents show his release is contingent upon about two dozen conditions, among them that he can’t fly a plane or board a commercial flight or contact anyone who was on the JetBlue flight where he was subdued. He has been in custody since the flight.

JetBlue officials said Osbon is still an employee with the company, but on inactive duty. 

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