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JetBlue Pilot Who Snapped on Plane Will Stand Trial, Judge Rules

By Nigel Chiwaya | June 15, 2012 4:10pm
Clayton Osbon
Clayton Osbon
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QUEENS — A JetBlue pilot who allegedly flipped out mid-flight, screaming about terrorism and needing to be restrained will stand trial, a judge ruled Friday.

U.S. District Judge Mary Lou Robinson said that Clayton Osbon had enough mental competence to be tried for interfering with a flight crew, according to the Associated Press.

Osbon, who lives in Richmond Hills, GA, made headlines in late March when his crazed actions forced several passengers on JetBlue flight 191 to restrain him.

Passengers on the plane said he ran through the cabin screaming about Jesus, al Qaeda and a bomb. The co-pilot locked him out of the cockpit and passengers wrestled him to the ground.

Footage taken on the flight shows several passengers wrestling in the front of the plane while someone yells "it's gonna blow!" 

The flight, originally scheduled to travel between New York and Las Vegas, made an emergency landing in Amarillo, Texas.

On Wednesday, 10 of the flight's passengers filed a lawsuit against JetBlue, saying the airline was negligent in allowing Osbon to fly the plane.

A spokesperson for JetBlue told the AP that Osbon remains employed by the airline but is currently listed as inactive.

Osbon faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Lawyers for the 12-year JetBlue veteran had tried to use an insanity defense, but Robinson ruled Osbon competent after the pilot underwent a court-ordered psychiatric evaluation.