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JetBlue 'Meltdown' Pilot To Plead Insanity
A JetBlue pilot who had to be wrestled to the ground by passengers after his midair meltdown forced an emergency landing in Texas last month is set to plead insanity.
Clayton Osbon, 49, was charged 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 has been undergoing court-ordered psychiatric examination to determine if he can stand trial, but the result of that examination is not yet known. His lawyer's bid for the insanity defence was revealed in court documents.
The pilot had to be subdued and forcibly restrained from re-entering the cockpit, according to court papers.
FBI documents 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.
Then he is said to have told the flight's first officer, "We're not going to Vegas."
The pilot suddenly left the cockpit and started running up and down the aisle, banging on a bathroom door, before he 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," and started yelling about Iraq, Iran and terrorists.
At one point he is said to have shouted toward the cockpit, "Guys, push it to full throttle!"
There was no comment from either his lawyers or the prosecution on the insanity defence.