JetBlue Pilot Indicted for In-Flight Meltdown

Apr 12, 2012 4:41pm
ap clayton osbon jp 120402 wblog JetBlue Pilot Indicted for In Flight Meltdown

JetBlue pilot Clayton Frederick Osbon, right, is escorted to a waiting vehicle by FBI agents as he is released from The Pavilion at Northwest Texas Hospital in Amarillo, April 2, 2012. Osbon was indicted by a Texas grand jury today. (AP)

The JetBlue pilot who suffered an apparent breakdown during a flight from New York to Los Angeles last month has been indicted by a grand jury.

A grand jury in Lubbock, Texas, indicted Clayton F. Osbon on one count of interference of a flight crew for his actions on March 27, when Osbon allegedly screamed about Sept. 11 and religion, was locked out of the cockpit and had to be restrained by passengers until the plane could make an emergency landing in Texas.

Osbon’s attorney, Dean Roper, declined to comment, the attorney’s secretary told the Associated Press today.

JetBlue Flight 191 was carrying 135 passengers and six crew members. A flight attendant suffered from some bruising to the ribs during the scuffle, but no one was seriously injured.

David Gonzales, one of the passengers who restrained Osbon, said he sprung into action after one of the flight attendants was knocked down during Osbon’s rage.

“We made eye contact, she kind of whispered to me, help me. And that’s all I needed,” Gonzales said in an interview with “20/20″ co-anchor Elizabeth Vargas.

Watch Elizabeth Vargas’ interview with David Gonzales online.

Gonzales said he and Osbon fought for five minutes before he caught the pilot in a choke hold and felt him pass out.

Earlier this month, Osbon’s family thanked the plane’s crew and passengers “for their effective yet compassionate handling of the situation.

“It is our belief, as Clayton’s family, that while he was clearly distressed, he was not intentionally violent toward anyone,” his wife, Connye, said in a statement. “We know you were placed in an awful situation and we appreciate your ability to respond professionally.”

Read the full transcript of Elizabeth Vargas’ interview with David Gonzales here.

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