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JetBlue Pilot Who Snapped Mid-Flight Found Not Guilty Due to Insanity

Clayton Osbon was found not guilty by reason of insanity July 3, 2012.
Clayton Osbon was found not guilty by reason of insanity July 3, 2012.
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NEW YORK — The JetBlue pilot who had a meltdown and started screaming about terrorists during a flight from New York in March was found not guilty by reason of insanity Tuesday, according to reports.

Clayton Osbon, a veteran pilot who lives in Richmond Hill, Ga., had faced up to 20 years in prison if convicted on charges of interfering with the flight crew.

But a federal judge in Texas, where the plane made an emergency landing during the March 27 incident, ruled Tuesday that Osbon was not guilty because he suffered a "severe mental disease or defect," according to CBS New York.

Osbon had terrified passengers aboard the JFK-to-Las Vegas flight by shouting about a bomb and urging the passengers to pray, before his co-pilot kicked him out of the cockpit and an off-duty police officer and an off-duty pilot subdued him.

Osbon will now undergo more mental health testing before another hearing in August, when the judge will decide whether to release him or commit him to a facility, according to reports.

Ten of the passengers on Osbon's plane have sued JetBlue, claiming the airline was "grossly negligent" in allowing Osbon to fly the plane.

JetBlue promised to review safety procedures after Osbon's outburst.