| April 18
April 18 A JetBlue pilot whose midair
meltdown prompted a cross-country flight to make an emergency
landing in west Texas last month will plead he was insane at the
time of the incident, his lawyer said in a federal court filing
Attorney Dean Roper filed the notice in U.S. District Court
in Amarillo, Texas, saying pilot Clayton Osbon would use an
Osbon, 49, was charged earlier this month with interfering
in the operations of a flight crew after he allegedly screamed
and pounded on the cockpit door, forcing a March 27 flight from
New York to Las Vegas to land in Amarillo.
Osbon was undergoing court-ordered psychiatric examination
to determine if he could stand trial. The outcome of those
examinations has not been disclosed.
A federal indictment described a harrowing flight during
which Osbon had to be subdued and forcibly restrained from
re-entering the cockpit.
The FBI said Osbon began saying, "Things just don't matter"
while he was at the controls of the Airbus A320 about halfway
into the five-hour flight, and that he told the flight's first
officer, "We're not going to Vegas."
After the pilot suddenly left the cockpit and started
running up and down the aisle, banging on a restroom door, and
attempted to force his way back into the locked cockpit, several
passengers restrained him until the plane landed.
The FBI said that while he was being restrained, Osbon
yelled, "Pray now for Jesus Christ," started yelling about Iraq,
Iran and terrorists, and shouted at one point toward the
cockpit, "Guys, push it to full throttle!"
Neither Osbon's lawyer nor prosecutors could immediately be
reached for comment on the insanity defense.