May 21, 2010 — -- A JetBlue pilot who was abruptly removed from duty in the crew lounge of Boston's Logan International Airport was carrying a gun, a Massachusetts State Police spokesman told ABC News.
JetBlue issued a statement today saying the pilot was relieved of duty for health reasons, but denied reports that he had sent a text message threatening to crash the plane.
"Reports that a JetBlue pilot threatened to crash a plane are unsubstantiated," the company said.
The pilot was scheduled to fly a plane Thursday, but was taken to a hospital for evaluation instead.
"We were notified of a communication the subject made of the acquaintance indicating he may harm himself," said State Police spokesman David Procopio. "Several troopers responded and located him in the crew lounge. After a conversation he voluntarily agreed to be transported to a hospital for evaluation and a federal investigation is ongoing."
Logan Airport's Federal Security Director George Naccara told Boston's WBZ Radio that reports the pilot had threatened to crash the plane were "misleading."
"He never threatened crashing the aircraft," Naccara said. "It was a situation in which he was threatening to take his own life and, in fact, his words were he may do it in 'some spectacular fashion,' but not anything to do with the aircraft and no reference to crashing the aircraft or harming anyone else other than himself."
Naccara also said that the pilot's girlfriend, who he identified only as a flight attendant, "did the right thing" by calling authorities.
The pilot, whose name has not been released, was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital, officials said.
Procopio declined to disclose details of the gun and whether or not it was loaded.
No charges of illegal weapon possession have been filed, said Procopio. The officer did not know whether the pilot was part of the Federal Flight Deck Officer program, which allows pilots to carry firearms.
The Transportation Security Administration, which runs the Flight Deck Officer program, said it does not identify members of the program for security reasons.
JetBlue Says Pilot Did Not Put Passengers in Danger
JetBlue Airlines said in a statement that the pilot was removed from duty because of medical reasons, and not because of a threatening text message.
"At no point were any customers or aircraft in danger," JetBlue's statement read. "We are working closely with authorities to ensure our crewmember receives appropriate medical attention."
JetBlue did not say what flight the pilot was scheduled to fly and declined to provide further details about the incident.